Marist College canceled all in-person classes and has put the campus "on pause" following a COVID-19 outbreak among students.

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On Thursday, Marist College officials learned of multiple positive COVID-19 cases as a result of an off-campus gathering held last weekend without proper precautions, including wearing masks and social distancing, officials say.

"Our medical and contact tracing team is in the process of identifying and testing those who could have been exposed to COVID-19 at the gathering. While we are awaiting the results of the tests, these students will be isolated and quarantined. Please understand that the students who hosted and attended the gathering will be held responsible for their actions and will be disciplined accordingly," Marist College Executive Vice President Geoff Brackett, Vice President of Academic Affairs Thom Wermuth and Vice President of Student Affairs Deb DiCaprio said in a joint statement on the college's COVID-19 dashboard. "Marist College is making every attempt to respond quickly and limit the scope of this incident."

The college hasn't announced how many students tested positive or how many other students could have been exposed to the COVID-19 due to the illegal off-campus gathering.

Out of an abundance of caution, and to allow time for contact tracers and medical officials to identify, test, quarantine or isolate all those involved in this incident, the college is taking what officials call a "proactive step to put the campus on pause until further notice."

Putting Marist College on pause includes the following temporary measures:

  • Suspending all on- and off-campus activities
  • Prohibiting all on- and off-campus gatherings, including parties
  • Canceling all athletic team training sessions
  • Closing the James J. McCann Recreation Center for the weekend
  • Closing the campus to all visitors
  • Moving all classes to remote on Friday and Saturday
  • Prohibiting students from visiting non-assigned residence halls

"We expect to update the community on the status of our testing as soon as possible. Please note, students who do not abide by the rules of the pause will be subject to disciplinary action," officials said. " Students who do not abide by the rules of the pause will be subject to disciplinary action. We ask that all students answer their phones and clear their voicemail inbox. When contacted by our dedicated contact tracers and administrators of the College, we expect students to be honest and forthcoming. We have over six weeks left together for the Fall semester, and hope you choose to do your part in the shared responsibility to keep the Marist community safe."

The Marist College COVID-19 Alert Level is currently listed as "Yellow." According to the college yellow means, the incidence of the virus remains low, but the potential for an increase in the transmission exists.