As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Erie County, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plans to place new restrictions on areas in the county identified as yellow zones due to the positive case clusters in these areas.
According to local news station WGRZ, the areas considered part of the yellow zones are the city of Buffalo, Lackawanna, Tonawanda, Amherst, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Hamburg, West Seneca, Town of Tonawanda, Grand Island, Lancaster, Elma, Aurora and Orchard Park.
Within these yellow zones, new regulations have been put in place to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. In relation to Canisius, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities has informed administrators that the gudiance from Cuomo does not mandate colleges or universities in the yellow zones to follow these new guidelines.
“So we’re watching to see what the guidance is at this particular time and we’re trying to make sure that we’re providing for the best educational opportunities while also safeguarding everyone’s health and well-being,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sara Morris.
In light of the rise in cases with the safety of the community in mind, the college has decided to make some changes.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Daniel Dentino said the college has decided to limit four people to a table in the dining hall and limit gatherings to 25 people, including services held at Christ the King Chapel, student club events and athletic practices.
Additionally, Canisius has extended their relationship with WellNow Urgent Care to provide the Canisius community with access to COVID-19 testing on campus, which will follow up until the end of in-person classes.
“We’re not seeing that those are leading to chains of transmission — we’re seeing that it does not appear that anyone is getting sick or getting the virus from having been in class together,” Morris said. Since Canisius has precautionary measures in place, the college is able to keep the campus safe due to mandatory mask-wearing and proper social distancing.
From what Dentino has gathered, he said a lot of the transmission of the virus occurs outside of the classroom and during gatherings off campus.
He urges students, faculty and staff to come forward if they have any further questions.