Local leaders are bracing for what could be another increase in coronavirus cases in the region as thousands of Binghamton University students move back on campus starting August 19.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

 

B.U. President Doctor Harvey Stenger says that all returning students will be tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 and will be quarantined on campus in a specific dorm or given the option to go back home if they test positive. 

University officials say they have been working with public health experts and B.U. professionals to determine the safest way to welcome back students, faculty and staff. 

Classes begin August 26 with approximately 6,800 students moving back on campus over seven days instead of the usual two-day move-in to keep density down and allow students to be tested using a nasal swab rapid test with results in about 30 minutes. 

Everyone on campus will be required to wear face masks at all times in buildings and shared spaces. Some classes will be offered online, ventilation systems have been modified, dining protocols are modified and study areas have been reconfigured. 

Meanwhile, on and off campus students must agree to a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities including social distancing guidelines that could have an impact on traditional social activities.

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University officials say campus and community police agencies are working together to respond to student gatherings on and off campus and disciplinary action could go as far as offenders getting “separation from the institution.”