Even with COVID still being transmitted from student to student, Marist maps out plans to return to the classroom.

The last time many Marist students had in-person instruction was on March 17. The pause was eventually extended on March 21, again on March 26 and once again last week after the outbreak showed little sign of subsiding.

Last week's extension of the campus lockdown was put into place when it was announced that there were 158 active cases, bringing the semester total over 400. On Wednesday, the school reported 149 active cases, with many of them newly diagnosed, bringing the semester total up to 560.

Even though cases have not significantly dropped, Marist shows the seven-day positivity rate at just under 3%. The school says the data will allow students to return to classrooms on Monday, April 12.  Residents who have remained on campus and participated in mandatory surveillance testing will be allowed to attend in-person classes. Students who have left campus during the three-week-long pause will be required to take a COVID test first.

At the height of the breakout, there were 180 active cases. At just under 150 cases now, the school says it will continue to monitor the situation carefully.

Moving forward, we will be very cautious about our planned resumption of activities and continue to make decisions based on data. If the number of positive cases moves in the wrong direction over the next few days or once we resume activities, we may impose additional restrictions. On the other hand, if we continue to drive down our rates and students get vaccinated, we will be able to release additional restrictions.

Now that all New York residents over the age of 16 are eligible for a vaccine, the school is encouraging students to get immunized.

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