ONEONTA, NY (WUTR-TV) — Classes are in session at SUNY Oneonta. While many students may opt to stay at home and complete their classes online, some still need to take in-person courses.
“FaceTime is a thing, phone calls a thing so still staying in connection with them is the biggest thing possible,” says Deandre Mullen, a junior at SUNY Oneonta. Deandre is a RA in one of the residence halls on campus. He says whatever the challenge is, the covid-19 pandemic isn’t stopping him from doing his job. “Our job is to build community, make it as fun as possible, make it as homey as possible, doing the same thing we’ve been doing for a long time,” says Mullen.
The college is taking many safety protocols like wearing masks and temperature checks. The college also implemented a wastewater/sewer testing system to detect covid-19, there’s three of these on campus. two times a week, samples from that water will be sent to a lab in Syracuse to determine if there’s traces of the virus. this is one of the state’s testing initiatives for SUNY campuses. “We can see a spike five days before students come into the health center with symptoms so if we start to see those levels increase, we’ll try to narrow it down through additional testing where that’s coming from and we’ll start doing randomized pool testing in the residences halls to try to identify where that spike is occurring,” says Lachlan Squair, Chief Facilities Planning and Safety Officer at SUNY Oneonta.
“Now that I am here, it definitely feels real. I can see people all over campus and know that I have to do my best to stay six feet apart, wear masks and be safe,” says Jillian Martelle, a junior at SUNY Oneonta.