College presidents say they’re working to keep students & public safe from COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 9:20 AM EDT
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CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Presidents of St. Lawrence County’s four colleges say there’s no more to fear from students living on their campuses than from anyone else in the north country.

The presidents of St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, and SUNY Canton issued a joint statement earlier this week addressing people’s concerns about students spreading the coronavirus.

“We recognize some community concerns that students on our campuses, especially those who may have returned from beyond St. Lawrence County, could introduce and spread the virus,” the statement says.

The presidents say that any students returning from areas impacted by the virus aren’t allowed on campus until they’re fully vetted by public health officials.

Anyone who has returned from an affected area is self-isolating.

Many students didn’t leave for spring break, they say, and some haven’t left campus since January.

Some living on campus are international students who can’t travel to their home countries while others don’t have a safe or secure place to live away from campus.

“St. Lawrence County is their home and the only safe place for them,” the statement says.

The joint statement was signed by Clarkson president Anthony Collins, SUNY Potsdam president Kristin Esterberg, St. Lawrence president William Fox, and SUNY Canton president Zvi Szafran.

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