New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that all schools in the State University of New York and City University of New York system will start “distance learning” next week amidst the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic. The combined school network has around 700,000 students across 90 campuses. Staring March 16 and lasting through the spring semester, dozens of campuses will start online classes in an attempt to limit the density of people and help reduce the spread of the virus, Cuomo said. “CUNY will help reduce the density in New York City. SUNY will help reduce the density in downstate New York,” Cuomo said.
The governor added that while each college will be “releasing students to the best of their ability,” there will be exceptions for students who need to remain in the dorms and for classes that are required to be held on campus. “They are not evicting anyone,” Cuomo said. “They are not closing the dorm and kicking you out.” No decisions have been made about graduation ceremonies, Cuomo added. The majority of the 1000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. have been in New York, Washington state and California.