COVID Detected in Syracuse Dorm Wastewater, Students Quarantined
Some students at Syracuse University are quarantining after a routine wastewater test for COVID-19 came back positive.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Syracuse University has been routinely testing the wastewater from each on-campus residence hall. The university's public health team announced in a press release Thursday that the most recent test from Ernie Davis Hall indicated "a possible instance of COVID-19 infection" and students in the residence hall were to start quarantining in place immediately.
The university urged students living in Ernie Davis Hall to first, not panic, but to instead return immediately to their rooms. Room checks began at 4:15 p.m. and the university said they would continue to check rooms until all students returned. SU also deployed a COVID testing team to Ernie Davis Hall, where all residents and RAs were tested.
In the press release, the Syracuse University Public Health Team wrote that they would process the tests overnight and throughout Friday. Until then, Ernie Davis Hall residents are required to quarantine in place and are not allowed to travel to other floors of the hall. The university will accommodate meals and other necessities for the students as needed.
Syracuse University's Vice Chancellor J. Michael Haynie told CNYCentral that if anyone in the residence hall tests positive for coronavirus, contact tracing will begin immediately. He is confident, though, that in the event a student tests positive, the university has implemented proper strategies to prevent an outbreak.
"We recognize, given the news of outbreaks at other universities, this announcement is concerning," Haynie told CNYCentral. "However, we are confident in the efficacy of our monitoring, tracing and isolation strategies."
As of Thursday morning, the COVID-19 outbreak at SUNY Oneonta grew to nearly 400 positive cases among students alone. The sudden outbreak just a week into the fall semester caused SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras to cease all in-person classes and activities for the rest of the semester and send all on-campus students home.