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CANTON — SUNY Canton has moved its start date to Aug. 31 as it prepares for an in-person fall semester. To maximize safety, the college will be systematically testing its on-campus population for the novel coronavirus.

The college’s plan for the fall semester will allow students to return to campus from Aug. 27 to 30. The first day of classes will be held on Aug. 31, and all classes will be offered remotely at the onset.

The college is instructing students to self-quarantine at their homes for at least seven days prior to coming to campus. All students will briefly continue to quarantine as they move into the residence halls to accommodate testing.

Commuter students will need to undergo testing either through their own health provider or through testing that will be available on campus. Students will be released from quarantine after they test negative.

Some classes will transition to face-to-face or hybrid (a combination of face-to-face and online) instruction once testing has been completed.

Classes will continue without any breaks until the Thanksgiving recess, which is scheduled for Nov. 21 to 29.

The remainder of the semester, including final examinations, will be held remotely. Students will be strongly discouraged from leaving St. Lawrence County during the semester.

Social distancing will be integral to campus life, a release from the college stated. Classes and hands-on labs that are offered in person will have fewer students in each section so that students and faculty can socially distance. Students, faculty and staff will be provided with, and are required to wear, face coverings when in the classroom or other public settings.

“While there are still many unknowns about the virus, we do know that masks help slow the spread of germs and increasing your distance from someone decreases the ability to spread the virus,” SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran said in the release. “We want to make sure that we do everything we can to protect our students, faculty, staff, and those around us.”

A substantial portion of student life and on-campus activities will be moved online, or offered remotely, as outlined in the new plan. The college has not announced any decisions about the fall athletic season, and administrators are seeking guidance on travel and competition from the NCAA, the North Atlantic Conference and the state.

SUNY Canton received approval for its complete fall plan from the State University of New York on June 30. Decisions in the plan were made following consultation with area public health officials. All plans are subject to change due to new information, guidance and direction from the state, or by a decision from the governor.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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