47 people in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 at Niagara University, 160+ in quarantine

Posted at 10:23 AM, Nov 07, 2020

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — 47 people are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 at Niagara University and more than 160 are in quarantine, according to the school.

According to letter sent out to members of the Niagara University community this number is as of Thursday night.

Rev. James J. Maher, C.M. says, the school is concerned about this rising number in COVID-19 cases at the university.

The school is set to implement what it calls a deliberate “cooling-off” period that starts immediately.

The plan includes the following

  • With the exception of academic learning experiences, all programs, activities and face-to-face meetings are to be transitioned to a virtual environment until further notice.
  • Meetings of more than five people outside of regularly scheduled classes, even with masks and social distancing, are not permitted until further notice.
  • The Kiernan Center will close and all associated club sports and intramurals will be suspended until further notice.
  • The Athletics Department has paused all team training and practice until further notice. The only exception being winter sports that are competing because of the rigorous testing being implemented and additional safety protocols from the NCAA for Division I athletics.
  • The library will remain open but the staff are taking additional safety measures, including mandatory masks at all times in the building, they are de-densifying the study spaces, and requiring students to wipe down their work space before and after use.
  • Eating in the Dining Commons will be restricted to 30 minutes or less and, when you can, please use the take-out food option for dining. Students are encouraged to dine outside as the weather is incredibly mild for this time of year.
  • Students may not host any non-resident guests in their room or apartment until further notice. There is a restriction of all guests in University housing that remains fully in effect.
  • There is a zero-tolerance policy with regard to students not following mitigation strategies. Failure to comply with all mandates issued by the University and public health authorities, ultimately may result in suspension from the University, consistent with our current practice. At a minimum, any student living in University housing found in violation of any University policy including COVID-19 restrictions or mitigation strategies may be removed from University housing for the remainder of the semester.
  • All physical-training in groups outside of those actions permissible for winter sports are suspended until further notice.

In a statement to 7 Eyewitness News, the school said the following

Throughout the semester we have been guided by our restart plan and our commitment to the health and safety of our campus community. We have seen an uptick of positive cases in our community. We will continue to monitor and respond throughout the weekend and make appropriate decisions as we move forward. We will continue to work closely with the Niagara County Department of Health and adhere to our pandemic protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The school says it is continuing to follow all COVID-19 protocols and precautions set by the Niagara County Department of Health.