Teacher sees good news in virus data

The spikes that adorn the outer surface of the coronavirus, which impart the look of a corona, when viewed through an electron microscope. CDC photo

POTSDAM — SUNY Potsdam President Kristen Esterberg reported in a letter to the campus Sunday that five students have been confirmed as having COVID-19.

The students arrived on campus between March 14 and March 20

The students, Ms. Esterberg wrote, had been in quarantine previous to the diagnosis.

“The five SUNY cases are five additional cases, bringing the total to 18 (in St. Lawrence County),” said Dana O. McGuire, St. Lawrence County Public Health Director in an email to the Times

Later on Monday, the number of cases was changed by the public health department to 17. 

Brigette Conklin, a community health educator with the health department said, in a Facebook Live broadcast, that one of the cases had been attributed to another county.

The students are living in single rooms with separate bathrooms, according to the college. 

“All approved residential students who have recently traveled to campus from areas with a high incidence of COVID-19 have been required to complete a 14-day self-quarantine period,” Ms. Esterberg wrote. “They all were given tests by Student Health Services, in conjunction with the Public Health Department.”

Only one student had symptoms, according to Ms. Esterberg. Four were asymptomatic.

Ms. Esterberg said affected physical spaces will receive deep cleaning and be disinfected, consistent with public health guidelines.

“In keeping with our Potsdam Pledge, I would ask each of us to remember to treat all members of our campus and our communities with the dignity and respect we all deserve during this difficult period. The scope of this pandemic is unprecedented in our time, and I know we are all fearful and concerned for ourselves, our families, our loved ones and one another,” Ms. Esterberg wrote. “Through our collective actions and with a focused intention, we can all help to protect each other and maintain our wellbeing, by sharing hope, doing our part, and supporting each other. Thank you for your critical efforts”

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(7) comments


Choose colleges closer to home. Uncomplicate life.


Your comment is without a doubt the most uneducated I have read. In case you didn't know SUNY Potsdam is one of the best colleges in the state to earn a teaching degree....among others. Community colleges do not offer more than an associate's degree. Colleges may be closer to students but not necessarily their field of study is offered. Also, let's not forget the income that is derived for St. Lawrence county from having the colleges. There are thousands of students there. They all bring income to the area. They shop, eat, buy gas and visit the local shops. Maybe your scared but let's stop insulting the students. They didn't ask to get sick...no one did. Be proactive, help with a cause, donate food, make some masks for people taking care of the ill. Anything to free your mind of negativity. Our country doesn't need it. We need prayer and positive thoughts.


Unfortunately not every student can get home. They are trying their very best to continue their education. We need to remember that they are just as nervous, scared and feeling uncertain as the rest of us. I have a child that attends school there. We are lucky that we can have her home with us. It breaks my heart that others are on that campus alone, without their families. Please be nice and keep them in your thoughts to return to being healthy.

Farmer Liz

Why are there students at Potsdam in the first place? Thoughts??


For those whose brain cells have seized function due to the virus, many students are unable to return to their homes during the school year for various reasons. Hence, they have no other place to hunker down. The school, for contractual and humanitarian reasons, honors the housing contract. This is safer for everyon involved, rather than turning the students loose in a community that is somewhat hostile to their presence. see Gracie02 comment.


Let me guess...they just returned from Spring Break...


Not helpful, hurtful. A few students are from areas where return is not possible, others have no home to return to. Their attendance at SUNY Potsdam is indicative of a responsible life, pursuing an education and dream job. Your response is on the deplorable side.

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