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HWS sees rise in cases of Coronavirus as students return to class

Leaders at Hobart and William Smith Colleges say 104 students are quarantined or in isolation after a rash of positive COVID-19 tests on the Geneva campus. As of Tuesday evening, the Colleges had 18 active cases of the virus.

“On Sunday, we reported that we had 4 positive cases of COVID-19 among students. Since then, and with the assistance of the Ontario County Health Department, we have instituted a thorough contact tracing protocol and subsequent testing through the Broad Institute,” President Joyce Jacobsen said in an update to the campus community.

It resulted in the identification of 14 additional positive cases beyond those initially reported.

“All of the students who tested positive are in isolation in a separate facility under the care of staff and health care practitioners. Currently, only one student is symptomatic and, so far, those symptoms have not required special medical attention,” Jacobsen added in the email. “This is obviously a challenging situation for these students and their families, and our hearts go out to them.”

She noted that the school is monitoring and retesting students in quarantine.

The Colleges also launched a new dashboard, showing the number of cases on campus.

“Students have in general been diligent in their adherence to safety protocols, including avoiding holding large gatherings,” Jacobsen continued. “If everyone continues to be conscientious in the use of face coverings, social distancing and enhanced hygiene, we should emerge from this period with very few additional cases. Should the situation escalate substantially, we would ask all students on and off campus to remain in their residence halls and off-campus housing for a 14-day, campus-wide quarantine with a shift to full remote learning during that time. Right now, we do not anticipate that happening, but want to be clear what the next step could be should we see a dramatic increase in the number of positive cases.”

Visual representation of new dashboard launched by Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Click here to visit it.