Stony Brook University confirmed its first cases of COVID-19 on campus, according to a campus-wide email from Interim President Michael Bernstein.
Bernstein did not offer any further details on the cases.
“As Governor Cuomo has indicated in his daily press conferences, we will see, across New York State, a steady rise in the incidence of COVID-19 as testing increases,” he wrote in the email. “We are following guidelines from the New York Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the thorough disinfecting of any compromised spaces.”
The university announced that it would be transitioning to online learning on March 11, and told students on Tuesday to move off campus by the end of the week. All events have been canceled through at least May 15, and the Student Activities Center has closed.
Some students who filed for exemptions are allowed to stay on campus, but the university indicated that they would be moved to alternative housing and that they must stay on campus.
Cuomo announced today that the Army Corps of Engineers is looking at building new beds on Stony Brook’s campus. In past press conferences, he said that the State University of New York (SUNY) campuses could potentially host COVID-19 patients.
Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron also tweeted that Island Federal Arena was “ready to welcome @StonyBrookMed patients if needed.”
Two weeks ago @IslandFederal Arena was ready to host @StonyBrookMBB quarterfinal game. Today it is ready to welcome @StonyBrookMed patients if needed.
Public health is the most critical issue today. We’ll be back to the business of winning games soon! Stay positive and safe. pic.twitter.com/TPiRSYSdVV
— Shawn Heilbron (@ShawnHeilbron) March 21, 2020
The university is hosting Suffolk County’s first drive-thru testing site in the South P lot as well.
“For everyone remaining on our campuses, I urge you to maintain good hand hygiene and social distance,” Bernstein wrote. “If you feel ill, contact appropriate medical authorities and stay in your residence.”
Other SUNY schools with confirmed COVID-19 cases include the University at Albany, Farmingdale State College, Nassau Community College and Fulton-Montgomery Community College.