December 4, 2021

4 SUNY Cortland students to return from study abroad

Group coming home this weekend will be quarantined amid virus concerns

Logo provided by SUNY Cortland

Four SUNY Cortland students will be returned to the United States and quarantined following an order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to suspend study abroad programs in countries affected by the coronavirus, said Fred Pierce, the director of communications for the college.

“We currently have three students in Italy and one in Japan,” he said Wednesday.

Cuomo announced earlier Wednesday, per recommendation from the state Health Department, that study abroad programs at State University of New York and City University of New York colleges would be suspended in countries that have seen the greatest effect from the virus, including Italy, Japan, China, Iran and South Korea. About 300 students will be brought home.

“As we continue to see a rise in cases of novel coronavirus around the world, we are taking every precaution necessary and mobilizing our public health system to protect New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued either a level 2 or 3 travel notice to these countries. Level 3 is the worst level for people affected by the virus.

Pierce said Italy is at a level 3, while Japan is a level 2.

About 95,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 80 nations, according to the Associated Press: 3,089 in Italy, with 107 deaths, according to BBC. Schools in Italy have also been closed for 10 days and there will be no fans at sporting events for the next month.

In Japan confirmed cases are up to 1,050.

New York has 13 confirmed cases as of this morning Pierce said the most up-to date plan is to have the students flown back on a chartered flight this weekend.

The students will be flown into New York Stewart International Airport in Orange County, where they will be screened by state health representatives and taken to designated SUNY campus dormitories for 14-day quarantines, the governor’s office announced.

Pierce said SUNY Cortland is not one of the designated campuses.

Pierce also said there had been eight students in Italy, but five had returned to the U.S. before the programs were suspended. The state Health Department knows of those students and they are being quarantined at their homes.

Symptoms of the coronavirus

These symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure

  • Cough.
  • Fever.
  • Shortness of breath.


  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“After the quarantine period is over, we’re assuming the student will be returning to their home campuses,” Pierce said.

SUNY and CUNY chancellors both said they are working to make sure the students are able to get their school work and also not be harmed financially because they had to return.

“We will provide students with financial and academic resources and work to minimize any disruption today’s action may cause, while we work aggressively with all our partners at the local, state and federal level to protect our entire campus communities,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson in a news release.