POUGHKEEPSIE – Marist College announced that the precautionary campus pause, which began on October 9 following positive COVID-19 test results for a small group of students, was lifted effective Saturday, October 17.
Some of the recent cases stemmed from an off-campus gathering where social distancing and mask protocols were not followed. The College is pursuing disciplinary action for students who breached the Code of Conduct. Others were identified through Marist’s surveillance testing program.
Although New York State requires colleges to move classes online if they reach a threshold of 100 cases or 5% of the campus population, Marist erred on the side of caution and paused campus activities with a significantly lower number of cases. During the pause, the College placed the Fulton Townhouses under precautionary quarantine and conducted more than 1,200 tests over five days after the initial cases were identified.
“Our surveillance testing program worked as intended,” said School of Science Dean Dr. Alicia Slater, who leads the program for the College.
Executive Vice President Dr. Geoffrey Brackett added, “We identified a small number of cases and immediately implemented our contact tracing and testing protocols and paused in-person classes and campus activities to contain the situation. Our first priority has always been to protect the health of both the campus community and the greater community.”
Dutchess County Behavioral & Community Health Commissioner Dr. Anil Vaidian said, “Marist College responded swiftly and appropriately to the positive student cases. We are grateful to Marist for their decisive and immediate action, and we will continue to work with the Marist team to ensure this cluster remains contained.”
All data for tests, the history of positive cases, and currently active positive cases, is available on the Marist College COVID-19 dashboard.
A campus-wide email sent on Friday outlined the terms of the pause being lifted:* On-ground classes will resume on Saturday, October 17.
* Travel is permitted for local activities. Students should refrain from additional exposures with unnecessary travel outside of the local community.
* Official on-campus in-person activities will resume.
* Student gatherings and parties are prohibited.
* For public health reasons, students are encouraged to limit their interactions to their “pod” (e.g. roommates or immediate housemates).
* The James J. McCann Recreation Center will have a phased opening plan to be announced in the coming days.
* All athletic team outdoor training sessions will resume.
* The campus will remain closed to outside visitors with the exception of approved guests for specific campus activities.
* At all times, students are expected to follow our Code of Conduct to protect the community, including wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining social distance.
The in-person portion of the College’s fall semester will continue through November 24, followed by one week of online instruction and one week of final exams.
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently ranked among the best colleges and universities in America by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 386 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (3rd Most Innovative School/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. The College is top-ranked for long-term study abroad (#3 in the U.S.) by the U.S. State Department’s Open Doors report.