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Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

New York has 323,978 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the Governor has declared a state of emergency in New York. The college’s leadership remain in close contact with state and federal public health officials. 

As the COVID-19 event quickly evolves, policies may change accordingly. Please refer to the latest update for the most up-to-date information.

Latest Update

Thursday, May 14 @ 12:00 PM

Spring 2020 Residential Students:

The College is rolling out a plan to allow you to remove your belongings from the residence halls. This plan, which follows Governor Cuomo’s phased reopening plan, is designed to minimize density and reduce interactions between individuals to maximize physical distancing best practices. While we understand that you have been waiting a long time to be able to retrieve your personal items, we ask that you continue to bear with us as we administer the outlined plan.

Students are encouraged to check their email for the full plan.

Monday, May 11 @ 2:00 PM

Dear students,

You may now request a pass, or P, in any class where you’ve earned the grade of D or higher for the Spring 2020 semester. To request a P, please fill out Pass Grade Request Form and email the completed form to your school Dean’s Office. Those addresses are:

You will have two weeks, or until Monday, May 25, from today to request your grades be changed to a Pass (P).

GPA Calculator has been developed to help you make your decisions. It is for your personal use only and you do not need to submit it.


The college adopted a pass/fail policy for those who are concerned about their Spring 2020 GPA. If you are considering the pass option, please remember that there will be no GPA, but only credit earned for the course. We encourage you to discuss this with your academic advisor, because the mark may impact: 

  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Academic Standing
  • Athletic Eligibility
  • Enrollment in Select or Accredited Programs
  • Continuing Education
  • Honor Roll Status
  • Prerequisite Requirements

Additionally, SUNY Canton has temporarily paused suspension and the academic recovery review process for the Spring 2020 semester. The college will not suspend or dismiss any students who participated in remote coursework and completed the semester regardless of their GPA or Pass/Fail grades.

Campus Updates

Thursday, May 7 @ 5:00 PM

A Message from SUNY Chancellor Johnson

To the SUNY Community,

Throughout the unprecedented novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, SUNY has responded as a system. Students, faculty and staff at each of our 64 individual campuses continue to contribute what they can and when they can, leveraging their own distinctive expertise.

I am writing to you now for two reasons. First, to thank you for your courage, grit and resiliency as we navigate these unchartered waters. Though there have been some bumps in the road with our near-universal shift of classes to distance learning, this never-before-attempted experience has been largely a success. That’s thanks to you and your passion for higher education and carrying out the SUNY motto – to learn, to search and to serve.

View the Chancellor's full letter

Monday, May 4 @ 7:30 PM

Academic Calendar Shifts for Fall 2020 Semester

SUNY Canton has moved its start date one week later for the fall 2020 semester to prepare for any continuing eventualities related to COVID-19.

Fall classes will begin Aug. 27, according to SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. The former academic calendar scheduled Aug. 20 as the first day of classes and was among the earliest start dates in the country. The decision will provide more time to increase the probability for an in-person on-campus Fall semester and allow for an expanded recruitment season.

View full release

Monday, April 27 @ 11:00 AM

Dear SUNY Canton Community,

I have said it before, and I will say it again: I am continually impressed with each of you and the ways in which you have met the immense challenges we have faced over the past several weeks. Our students are still receiving the top-notch education and services they deserve thanks to your tireless efforts to adapt during these rapidly changing circumstances. Thank you!

I want to bring you up to date with the ongoing work of our COVID-19 response team and the College’s senior leadership to plan for this summer and fall, even in the midst of the uncertainty we face.


We are setting up eight planning committees to cover the major issues we will be dealing with over the next four months and beyond. The committees are (A) Summer 2020/College Opening, (B) Recruitment and Enrollment, (C) Academics, (D) Student Life, (E) Financial Impact and Operations, (F) Advancement, (G) Debrief & Recommendations, and (H) Campus-Wide Issues. We will keep you informed about the progress the teams are making. The following are some summaries of the issues the teams will be responding to.

Summer Plans & Programs

The Governor’s New York State on PAUSE Executive Order is currently in place until May 15. This means that only on-campus essential workers will be working on campus until at least that date. We appreciate their efforts to keep our operations running, including building and grounds, residence life, health services, and food service for our resident students. The Governor’s Office is working on a regional re-opening plan; we will keep you apprised of how the plan will affect the College and its employees and students.

We expect that many of the 92 students currently living in the residence halls will leave at the end of the semester. There will be a small number who will remain on campus due to extenuating circumstances, so we will still need on-campus-essential workers to serve them and to ensure that the campus is ready for the fall semester.

We are also working on a plan to allow students who were living in our residence halls to come back to campus to retrieve their belongings after the Governor’s PAUSE Executive Order is lifted. We intend to follow the Governor’s phased and regional approach for this. A draft plan has been created, including protocols that will ensure that both the students and our campus community remain safe throughout this process. We will be coordinating our plan with our colleagues at the other Associated Colleges and local officials.

There are several summer programs for students that will be undergoing some changes. Our pre-semester EOP, TRiO, and Jump Start programs will be offered online, with face-to-face activities resuming when circumstances allow.

Fall 2020, Recruitment, Enrollment, and Student Life

We are considering several eventualities for the Fall semester. As you know, the Faculty Assembly approved a revised academic calendar for AY 2020-21, with classes beginning on August 27, one week later than on the original approved calendar. We appreciate the Faculty Assembly’s flexibility in passing that revision, because we believe this will give us the best possibility of a strong incoming class and to begin the semester fully prepared in whatever scenario in which we find ourselves.

For the fall semester, we are creating contingency plans for multiple scenarios, including:

  • Returning to normal operations
  • Returning in a hybrid manner, with some classes face to face and some online, while practicing recommended social distancing
  • Returning in an entirely remote format for part or all of the semester

Which one or combination of these plans we will enact will depend on the circumstances as we get closer to August. In the meantime, we will be seeking out input from faculty and staff on all major issues during our planning processes. Please stay tuned for opportunities to provide your valuable feedback.

We are currently behind the previous several years in both applications and deposits for incoming students, as are most institutions of higher education across the country. This is not surprising, as many families are waiting to see what college plans are for the fall and if the pandemic abates. Our recruitment and enrollment efforts have moved online and have been very well received. The more faculty and staff are involved in these efforts, the more successful we will be at recruiting a strong incoming class, which – as you know – is crucial for our financial health.

We also do not know whether and how students will be able to live on campus in the short- and medium-term. This impacts our residence halls, food service, student life, student health, and athletics programs. Again, we are actively planning for several contingencies.

Financial Issues

As you can imagine, SUNY Canton has been impacted financially by this crisis. We have been asked by SUNY to plan for possible cuts to our State allocation, and as I noted above, we may also see decreased revenues from tuition.

We were in a stable financial position before the pandemic, which has put us in a good position to weather this storm. To stay in a stable position, we will quickly need to seek out ways to reduce spending and maximize efficiencies in all areas of campus, academic and otherwise. As a campus that already runs fairly lean, this will be difficult. I believe that with the creativity and commitment that everyone has already demonstrated, we can find ways to do this while not impacting the quality of the education we provide our students. Again, we will be seeking your input in these matters.

The Foundation’s ability to fundraise has also been impacted by this pandemic. Many current and potential donors were hit hard by the downturn in financial markets, and staff were unable to continue their fundraising travel. We believe in the generosity of the College’s alumni and friends, but recognize that this may set the Foundation back in their fundraising goals, which may affect funding available for student scholarships and special projects across campus.

These are difficult and uncertain times. We are committed to responding compassionately to our circumstances and planning efficiently for whatever the future may bring. We are all part of the SUNY Canton family, and we will continue to move forward together, as Roos always do.



Thursday, April 16 @ 4:00 PM

Governor Cuomo Announces 'NYS on PAUSE' Extended Until May 15

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced all NYS on Pause restrictions and closures will be extended until May 15th. This action is taken in consultation with other regional states. The states will re-evaluate after this additional closure period.

Governor Cuomo also directed all New Yorkers to wear masks or face coverings on public transportation systems and while taking private transportation or riding in for-hire vehicles. Additionally, all operators of public systems, private carriers and for-hire vehicles must wear a mask or face covering at all times while working. These directives expand on the Executive Order announced by the Governor yesterday requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. The Executive Order will go into effect on Friday, April 17th, at 8 PM.

View full release

Tuesday, April 14 @ 3:00 PM

Dear Campus Community,

In these extraordinary times, our staff on campus have gone to extraordinary measures to keep our campus healthy, safe, and running smoothly. Those working from home have kept our students on track with their education and kept our behind-the-scenes functions humming along. As I said in the recent WEEKLY BLAB, I can’t thank everyone enough for your hard work and dedication.

To help keep things moving in the right direction, I’d like to bring you up to date on some recent governmental orders, along with a few reminders.

The Governor has extended his New York State on PAUSE Executive Order until at least April 29, and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff has imposed a Travel Advisory for the County. I’m including more detailed information on these measures below.

At SUNY Canton, the bottom-line effect of these policies is this: only workers who have been designated as on-campus essential by their area VP should be coming to campus. There are only two exceptions:

  • Faculty or staff who are asked to come to campus due to an emergency, for instance information technology staff in the event of a network failure.
  • Individuals who are temporarily approved by their area VP to come to campus for specific purpose and for a specific period of time. To be temporarily approved, the individual must complete a Campus Access Form and receive a written approval for that purpose from their VP.
    • Individuals who have been designated by their area VP to pick up essential mail may briefly come to campus Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for that purpose. They must also complete a Campus Access Form and receive written approval from their VP.

The Governor’s New York State on PAUSE Executive Order mandates that until at least April 29:

  • All non-essential businesses and K-12 schools will remain closed.
  • All non-essential gatherings of any size must be cancelled or postponed.
  • Essential businesses and entities – including SUNY Canton – must implement rules that facilitate social distancing of at least six feet at all times.
  • Sick individuals, even if they are essential workers, should NOT leave their home for any reason, and should avoid contact with other individuals.
  • Travel should be limited to only essential purposes until further notice. Essential purposes include obtaining medical care or medications, procuring groceries and food, or going to a park as long as social distancing can be maintained. Only essential workers should travel to and from their places of employment.
  • Those not following these social-distancing rules, including non-essential businesses remaining open, or participating in non-essential gatherings at any time, may face civil fines and/or prosecution.

Thank you all for doing your part to abide by these critical policies to limit the spread of the coronavirus and help keep our communities safe.


Tuesday, April 14 @ 11:00 AM

Students, we are here to support you in any way we can during these challenging times. We have developed some campus and community resources that we hope will help with navigating this new normal until we can all return to campus again. If there’s anything not listed on the Student Support webpage that you need help on, or if you need assistance with gaining access to any of these services, please reach out to me at bish@canton.edu. I am happy to help anytime!

View Student Support Resources

- Courtney Battista Bish, Vice President for Student Affairs

Saturday, April 12 @ 3:00 PM

Governor Cuomo Issues Executive Order Directing Employers to Provide Masks to Employees Who Interact with the Public

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced he will issue an Executive Order directing employers to provide essential workers with cloth or surgical masks free of charge to wear when directly interacting with the public.

View full release

Tuesday, April 7 @ 2:00 PM

Governor Announces Relief for Approximately 300,000 New York Student Loan Borrowers Not Covered by Federal CARES Act

The Governor also announced an agreement with the largest student loan servicers in New York to obtain relief for student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 who contact their private student loan servicer. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies, and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance program. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, only provides relief to borrowers whose loans are owned by the federal government. This agreement with the student loan industry provides much-needed relief to these outstanding borrowers whose loans are privately owned.

View full release

Sunday, March 29 @ 4:15 PM

Governor Cuomo Directs State Nonessential Workforce to Work from Home for Additional Two Weeks Through April 15th

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced all NYS on Pause functions will be extended for the next two weeks. The Governor also directed the state nonessential workforce to continue to work from home for an additional two weeks through April 15th. The state will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period.

View full release

Friday, March 27 @ 2:30 PM

Dear graduating seniors,

We recognize that many of you and your families are looking forward to celebrating your tremendous accomplishments at SUNY Canton by participating in your Commencement Ceremony. We are excited, too! We remain committed to holding a live Commencement on campus as soon as it is safe to do so. However, the current pandemic crisis prevents us from holding it on its original date, which was Saturday, May 9.

We all look forward to honoring the outstanding work and scholarship of our seniors. In the meantime, we’d like to hear from students and their families on possible rescheduling options and get their feedback on how to make this an extra-special event. Please take a moment to fill out a survey and share your thoughts.

We’ve been in touch with our local hotels, which are offering refunds or reservation transfers without penalty. If you scheduled through an online booking agency, you’ll likely need to reach out to that provider for a refund.

Further Commencement details will be shared as plans are finalized.

The annual Honors Convocation celebration and the Vice President for Student Affairs’ Specialty Student Awards Ceremony will be held virtually this year. Both of the Nurses’ Pinning Ceremonies will be rescheduled for a later date. Please stay posted for further information about all of those events.

Thank you for your time, patience, and understanding. Be well and stay healthy!

- President Szafran and special events staff

Wednesday, March 25 @ 5:00 PM

SUNY Canton Update: Southworth Library Learning Commons is now closed

Southworth Library Learning Commons has closed as of today, March 25. Please note that resources and services are available online with a list of library, tutoring, and connectivity support detailed below. For students approved to be on campus in the residence halls, we will be locating printers and cell phone charging stations near the RA lobbies. Technology needs (such as borrowing laptops) will be by appointment only for the remainder of the semester. Please check the Information Services webpage for the availability of technology resources and support. 

Access to:

  • Tutoring: We want to assure you that although we are not together on campus, the Betty J. Evans Tutoring Center and all of your favorite tutors remain available for free drop-in virtual appointments. Please visit the Betty J. Evans website for details about hours, tutor schedules, course coverage, and how to connect with us. If you have any difficulty navigating or general questions, contact us at tutoring@canton.edu. Tutoring is online, 24x7, and our campus tutors are available in real-time virtual sessions throughout the day.
  • Library: The Library would love to hear from you and can help with your questions. You can email them at library@canton.edu, or use the Online Chat on their webpage. Many of the textbooks are now online through VitalSource. You can also contact a librarian virtually, 24x7.
  • WiFi: Commuter students can access the College’s ‘Drive-Thru’ WiFi parking lot, on the east side of Nevaldine South (where the electric vehicle charger is located). Students can pull into the parking lot and connect to campus WiFi from the comfort of their cars. This area will make it easier for commuter students with limited cell phone service or slow, unreliable satellite internet to download course materials.
  • Printing: Printing is available in each residence hall outside of the RA office. See the Instructions for Printing from a Personal Laptop.

Aerial view of Drive-Thru WiFi location outside Nevaldine Hall

Sunday, March 22 @ 9:00 AM

On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced an Executive Order that outlined what he called “the most drastic action we can take” in response to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, across the State.

Specifically, the Governor announced that the State will enforce:

  • A 100% reduction in on-site workforce for non-essential businesses.
  • A ban on non-essential gatherings of individuals for any reason, and of any size.
  • Social distancing rules in essential businesses (such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and – in our case – college campuses).
  • A limit on use of public transportation to travel that is absolutely necessary, and social distancing rules of at least 6 feet during essential travel.

In addition, the Governor announced “Matilda’s Law,” which requires New Yorkers age 70+ and those with compromised immune systems and/or underlying illnesses to:

  • Stay at home and limit visits to immediate family or close friends.
  • Prescreen visitors by taking their temperature and checking whether they are suffering from flu-like symptoms.
  • Wear medical masks outside the home, and in the presence of any other individuals.

He enacted these measures in response to the exponential growth in cases in New York State. As of Saturday morning, the State reported 10,356 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. While there are some areas where the virus is concentrated, it is rapidly expanding across the entire State. The severity of these measures underlines the threat we are facing.

To comply with the Governor’s Executive Order, these rules will be enforced at SUNY Canton:

  • Only faculty and staff that are designated as on-campus essential will be allowed to come to campus. Exceptions include:
    • Staff who are asked to come to campus due to an emergency, for instance information technology staff in the event of a network failure.
    • Faculty and staff who are primarily working remotely, but whose job functions necessitate occasional on-campus duties. These duties should be outlined by your supervisor in your remote work plan.
    • Faculty and staff who apply to and are approved to come to campus by their area VP for an essential reason. Please complete the Campus Access Form and return to your Vice President.
  • For those individuals who must be on campus, social distancing rules will be in effect, with a ban on non-essential gatherings of individuals in all buildings and at all times.

The Governor’s number one priority, and ours, is your health and safety. I take this responsibility very seriously. For the sake of our entire community, particularly  the most vulnerable among us, I am counting on all of you to take every precaution and abide by the Governor’s mandates.



Saturday, March 21 @ 10:45 AM

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced an Executive Order to outline what he called “the most drastic action we can take” in response to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, across the State.

Specifically, the Governor announced that the State will enforce:

  • A ban on non-essential gatherings of individuals for any reason, and of any size.
  • Social distancing rules in essential businesses (such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and – in our case – college campuses).
  • Limiting the use of public transportation to travel that is absolutely necessary, and social distancing rules of at least 6 feet during essential travel.

He enacted this Executive Order in response to the exponential growth in cases in New York State. As of Friday morning, the State reported 7,102 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. While there are areas where the virus is more concentrated, it is rapidly expanding across the entire State.

To comply with the Governor’s Executive Order, these rules will be enforced at SUNY Canton. We are reminding you that:

  • Only students who have been pre-approved by the Residence Life office are permitted on campus or in the residence halls. Anyone arriving without permission will be sent home immediately at their own expense.
  • Social distancing rules will be strictly enforced, with a ban on non-essential gatherings of individuals, including in the residence and dining halls. Failure to abide by these rules will result in sanctions up to and including being sent home.

Students are expected to strictly follow these rules to maximize everyone’s safety.

The Governor’s number one priority, and ours, is your health and safety. I take this responsibility very seriously. For the sake of our entire community, particularly  the most vulnerable among us, I am counting on all of you to take every precaution and abide by the Governor’s mandates.

Dr. Szafran

Thursday, March 19 @ 4:00 PM

A message from SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran

I’m pleased to announce that SUNY Canton faculty members have enacted a plan for students to complete their necessary laboratory requirements remotely in response to the college’s overall COVID-19 arrangements.

Some students have expressed concern about being behind in their coursework and potentially not graduating on time. Labs, including those for biology, chemistry, and nursing, will all be offered remotely for the remainder of the semester.

Faculty members should be in touch with students by noon on Friday. If you do not hear from your respective instructors, please contact your school dean’s office with your name, your course and your instructor’s information.

We received correspondence from public health officials emphasizing the need to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local population. Social distancing and limitations on non-essential travel are fundamental components of the college’s strategy. The County’s Health Department recommends that our college continue to limit non-essential travel.

The college is only allowing international students and students who have no other safe place to go to stay on campus. All coursework is being offered in an entirely online or remote format and does not require on-campus residence. If you have a non-academic extenuating circumstance, please e-mail reslife@canton.edu with a detailed explanation of your situation.   

I’d like to thank SUNY Canton Provost Peggy De Cooke, faculty, and the college’s deans for creating innovative plans to address this unprecedented situation. Over the past week, they’ve worked diligently to initiate remote teaching strategies for classes that have never been taught this way before. Additionally, I’d like to thank the students for their patience while we mobilize this new academic approach.

- President Zvi Szafran


Tuesday, March 17 @ 4:30 PM

Dear Students,

Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive to reduce density and help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), SUNY Canton will allow students on campus only under very limited circumstances. The College remains open and academic arrangements will be made to accommodate your individual learning plans.

As of now, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the SUNY Canton community or in St. Lawrence County. Here are some very important updates:

Living on campus

ONLY international students, students who have no other safe place to go, and those who must be on campus for essential coursework will be allowed to return to the residence halls. Please see the Laboratory Coursework section below.

For students who will return in the fall, we intend to credit unused room and board fees for students who have returned home for the remainder of the semester. For students graduating in Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 refunds will be credited to their student account. 

If you are currently staying in your residence hall room, or the above-listed criteria applies to you and you wish to seek approval to return to campus, please email reslife@canton.edu to request permission by 12pm on Wednesday, March 18. If you do not request and get approved to stay on campus you will not have card access and you will not be permitted to enter the residence halls.

Essential Belongings

Students are no longer permitted to return to campus to retrieve belongings. If you have essential belongings such as books, notebooks, laptops, or medications the residence life staff will retrieve them from your room and mail them to you. Please e-mail reslife@canton.edu with such requests. Students will be allowed to return to campus to retrieve non-essential belongings at a later date. We will provide further guidance as soon as we can.

Laboratory Coursework

We’ve received numerous inquiries about our labs and hands-on learning opportunities. Further communications will be coming, and we beg your patience as we work to answer your individual questions. We will notify you by Friday if you must return to campus to complete lab or clinical specific coursework. 

For those remaining on campus

  • Health Services will be open, but with a limited staff and capacity. You must ahead to make an appointment. Please call (315) 386-7333.
  • Counseling will be available remotely for telephone-only counseling. Please call (315) 386-7314.
  • The Library Learning Commons building will remain open with minimal staffing and services.
  • The Roos House and the Fitness Center are closed.
  • SUNY Canton sponsored buses from New York City have been cancelled.
  • All student events for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester have been cancelled, postponed, or will be offered in an online-only format.
  • Other services will be available remotely.

Internet and Broadband Resources

Due to the wide-spread effects of the COVID-19 on Higher Education, many companies and industry partners have announced discounted and or free access to their products and services for those impacted. For broadband and cellular services, you will need to contact your local service provider to receive further information and confirm service availability at your location.

Our communication includes significant input and consultation with the State University of New York. They’ve provided expert guidance throughout this unprecedented situation. These plans are made with the goal of protecting the health of its students and employees. This is an ever-changing situation, so please stay posted for further communications.

We fully realize how deeply this transition affects you as our students and want you to know that we are here to support you in any way we can going forward. We share with you the sadness over the lost personal, face-to-face interactions and experiences on campus, but will endeavor to create the most engaging space we can remotely for you. 

I appreciate your strength and resilience in these trying times. With your help, we can, and will persevere. Be strong. Stay healthy. Be well. Go Roos!

- Dr. Szafran

Tuesday, March 17 @ 7:20 AM

A message from Director of Human Resources Suzan McDermott

Dear colleagues:

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed all non-essential New York State employees in every county not to report to work for the next two weeks. This includes SUNY Canton. 

This is one of many extraordinary measures that New York State is taking to try to slow the coronavirus pandemic, which has been declared a public health emergency.

Who are essential/non-essential employees?

  • Essential employees are defined for the purpose of the directive as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency, or who must be physically present to perform their job, or who is involved in the COVID-19 emergency response. 
  • Non-essential employees should be considered any person who does not need to be physically present to perform their job functions, or they are not currently required to meet the core functions of their agency or authority during this emergency response.
  • If you have been designated as an essential service employee by SUNY Canton, you will be receiving a notification via email or campus mail this morning after which if you are non-essential on campus you will be released to return home.
  • Campuses can change the list of essential/non-essential employees as often as needed, depending on our needs. If your status changes, you will be notified.
  • We understand that as we ramp up our online curriculum, teaching faculty may need to attend trainings on campus and seek guidance. For this purpose, you will be deemed essential.
  • If you are not sure of your status, please contact your supervisor.
  • Throughout state government, non-essential employees will not be charged accruals during this time and will continue to receive their regular pay. 

Next steps

At 8 AM today the Emergency Response Team is meeting to finalize the essential employee list and you will receive notification of your status this morning. Once the notices have gone out, non-essential employees shall work from home, to the extent practicable, from March 17 until March 31, or until further notice. Regular time and attendance procedures are required for illness, vacation, family sick leave. Anyone designated non-essential should call their supervisor no later than one hour prior to their regular start time, to ensure any change in status can be communicated. Faculty and staff may return to campus to collect the items that they need to work from home.

Monday, March 16 @ 11:45 AM

Dear Students,

As you know, due to precautions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), SUNY Canton will be conducting most classes by remote learning for the rest of this semester. You have the option to choose to live at home or live on campus as you complete your coursework. This is a difficult decision in these uncertain times, but I want you to know that our campus is open, and housing, meals, and many other services are still available at this time.

We’ve received many questions about whether there would be refunds on the unused portion of your room and board and fees associated with living on campus if you choose to complete your studies while living at home for the rest of the semester. We have just received some direction from SUNY on this matter. 

If you choose to complete your studies while living at home for the rest of the semester, there will be a credit on next year’s bill for the unused portion of room and board, and on-campus living fees, for everyone who qualifies. We will provide more detail and clarity as we develop these approaches in the coming days. At the least, we wanted you to know about the general decision to credit or refund room and board fees, and that work is in progress to assure fair and prompt actions.

For those students who are graduating this year, if you choose to complete your studies while living at home for the rest of the semester, there will be a refund for the unused portion for everyone that qualifies.

We appreciate your patience as we work through these complex issues at this challenging time. We will send out additional information as soon as we have more details.

On behalf of all of us at SUNY Canton, I wish you, your families, and your loved ones good health.


Dr. Szafran

Saturday, March 14 @ 8:00 PM

A message from President Zvi Szafran

Dear SUNY Canton Community,

St. Lawrence County has declared a State of Emergency, and all public K-12 schools in the County will be closed from March 16 to April 20, 2020.

Based on current information, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the SUNY Canton community or the County.

These school closures bring another level of complexity in an already difficult and uncertain time. The next few weeks will be challenging for many people at the College, and we recognize the need for flexibility to balance our responsibilities at home and at work.

At this time, the faculty and staff meetings scheduled for Monday through Wednesday will take place as planned. If at all possible, please try to come to campus for these meetings. However, we understand if you are unable to do so, and ask that you please notify your supervisor if you will be participating by streaming the meetings remotely.

For parents of school-aged children and others affected by school closures, please be in touch with your supervisor. Suzan McDermott, Director of Human Resources, is working closely with SUNY System Administration in consultation with union leadership to determine appropriate arrangements for the weeks ahead.

We will continue to communicate information as quickly as we are able, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as the situation is evolving rapidly.

Thank you for your kindness, compassion, and commitment as we move forward together.


Friday, March 13 @ 6:40 PM

SUNY Canton Athletics and NAC Suspend Spring Sports Indefinitely

In light of the worldwide situation regarding the COVID-19 virus outbreak, SUNY Canton will be suspending all athletic competitions indefinitely following this weekend's games in Florida.

We will continue to evaluate the situation in hopes of resuming competition later this semester. This action reflects a similar decision by the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) earlier today.

Read full story

Friday, March 13 @ 2:15 PM

A message from Courtney B. Bish, Vice President for Student Affairs

After advice from the State University of New York, SUNY Canton will be allowing students to return to the residence halls on March 22.

Students can come retrieve their belongings at any time starting immediately.

In nearly every case, your coursework will be able to be completed remotely (online using Blackboard, video or phone) through the remainder of the semester. 

To help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 by reducing population density, we encourage you to consider staying home for the rest of the spring semester. We are happy to support you whether you decide to come back to campus or stay at home. 

Students who wish to return and remain on campus prior to March 22 should email reslife@canton.edu for prior approval.

While the college is open from now until March 22, services may be greatly reduced or limited. Campus events and programs have largely been cancelled to help with social distancing for the duration of the spring semester. The college has not yet made decisions about commencement, honors convocation, and other large gatherings. We thank you for your patience. 

If you had a ticket for the cancelled SUNY Canton sponsored bus we will be in touch with you to arrange your return. 

Please keep in mind that these updates are fluid and may be subject to change. Keep checking your email and www.canton.edu/covid19 for the latest information. 

As Dr. Szafran said yesterday, now is the time to support one another. Thank you all. We are SUNY Canton. We are strong. We will move forward as Kangaroos always do.

- Courtney

Thursday, March 12 @ 7:00 PM

Good Evening,
We have several updates regarding the college’s COVID-19 plans.

As of now, there are still no reported cases of novel coronavirus (COVID -19) in the SUNY Canton community or in St. Lawrence County.

In the SUNY Canton spirit, I’d like to take a moment to tell everyone how proud I am to be part of this strong and resilient community. This extends to the faculty, staff and students. We’ve received a lot of questions, and some of those questions we can’t answer right now, but the greatest majority of those inquiries have been kind and courteous.

Due to multiple inquiries, we’d like to remind you that students are not yet allowed to return to the residence halls. We hope to have an update and a plan for you to come back to campus, even to just get your belongings (on or after March 22). We understand that this is inconvenient, but we ask for your continued patience.

Some of you may be wondering about tickets you’ve purchased to return to Canton on the SUNY Canton sponsored bus. We will make arrangements for future transportation.

If you purchased Trailways tickets independently, please ask Trailways for a refund. We’ll be in touch about transportation at a later time.

Deep Cleaning
The extra week is giving us time to tidy up! The college’s facilities department is hard at work disinfecting all of the public spaces. This cleaning includes all door handles, bathrooms, and high-touch surfaces.

Online Classes
While all classes are scheduled to resume on Monday, March 23, online faculty may choose to open up advanced content in their courses to allow their students a chance to get ahead on course work during the extended spring break. Please check in with your respective faculty members.

We’ve added a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to www.canton.edu/covid19 that addresses most of these topics and a few more.

All of the information that we are sharing is based on the best knowledge we have at this time. This is a fluid situation, and all of our plans subject to change rapidly. We will do our absolute best to keep you informed.

Now is the time to support one another. Thank you all. We are SUNY Canton. We are strong. We will move forward as Kangaroos always do.


Wednesday, March 11 @ 6:43 PM

Dear SUNY Canton Campus Community,

Under direction from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, SUNY Canton will be offering classes remotely until further notice due to concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among SUNY Canton faculty, staff, and students, or in St. Lawrence County.

SUNY Canton will be extending our Spring Break for students by one week. There will be no classes from March 16 – 20.

Beginning March 23, SUNY Canton will shift to teaching remotely (e.g. online using Blackboard, video, phone, etc.).

Please note that the campus will remain open during this time and College faculty and staff are expected to work as normal. There will be on-campus meetings for all faculty and staff on Monday, March 16. Further details on these meetings will follow soon. We request, however, that employees that are ill remain home until their symptoms subside.

We know many of you will have questions about laboratory courses and clinicals. We are seeking clarity from SUNY on these matters and will communicate answers as soon as possible.

At this time, students should not make immediate plans to return to campus. We will provide further information in the next few days.

We recognize that this decision brings some anxiety and uncertainty to the SUNY Canton community. Please know that we are working diligently to address any questions you have and provide the guidance and resources you will need moving forward. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our highest priority.

We pledge to remain in close contact with you, as the situation continues to evolve quickly. Please keep a close eye on your email for further communications, and use this opportunity to sign up for Rave alerts if you have not already done so. We will also be regularly updating the SUNY Canton COVID-19 website with the latest information available to us.

If you have additional questions or concerns, you may contact us at 315-386-7100.



Wednesday, March 11 - 2:48 PM

The Governor just made an announcement. We are finalizing details with SUNY and will release more information imminently.

Wednesday, March 11

The SUNY Canton Emergency Response and Resource Group has been activated. We have a campus plan to respond to concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and are awaiting authority from SUNY and the State of New York to enact it. There will be an update from the President’s Office today outlining the college’s procedures.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

As the state of New York and colleges across the nation continue to feel the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), SUNY Canton would like to share its plans to help protect the health of its students, faculty, staff, and guests.

With guidance from the State University of New York, and the Governor’s Office, we are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19. College Administration, including the Emergency Response and Resource Group, are discussing the college’s evolving strategies every day. Both SUNY and Gov. Cuomo have made the state’s overall response their top priority. We’ve also been in contact with our three neighboring colleges about their response plans and are communicating about each institutions’ proactive measures.

We are currently in Level 1 of our three-tiered response plan, which means we’ll be continuing to emphasize preventative measures while maintaining academic continuity. Level 2 includes potential suspension of classroom activities, social distancing (postponing large gatherings), and other academic considerations. Level 3 is reserved for a pandemic period and will consist of minimal campus operations, cessation of on-campus instruction, including fully online course delivery. A complete copy of the SUNY Canton Pandemic Response Plan (COVID-19) is now available.

To the very best of our knowledge, no one from SUNY Canton has contracted COVID-19, or has traveled to any of the most-affected areas outside of the country. At this time, there are no reported cases in St. Lawrence County. The Davis Health Center has issued suggested guidelines for anyone who develops symptoms or comes into contact with infected individuals, per Centers for Disease Control instructions. A complete set of recommendations can be found here.

During this break week, the college has undergone a deep cleaning. Our facilities staff are disinfecting high-traffic areas and surfaces such as door handles, countertops, tables, and bathrooms. More on important cleaning measures will appear in a subsequent update.

SUNY Canton will remain open after Spring Break. Classes and scheduled events will continue as planned until further notice to maintain academic continuity throughout the semester. As with any evolving situation, these plans may change quickly. The college is prepared to escalate its response accordingly. We promise to communicate changes or interruptions, cancellations, and overall updates as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Please continue to help us keep the SUNY Canton community safe by:

  • Thoroughly washing your hands frequently.
  • Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoiding contact with sick individuals.
  • Stay home if you have a fever or flu-like symptoms.

March 7, 2020

At Novel Coronavirus Briefing, Governor Cuomo Declares State of Emergency to Contain Spread of Virus

During a briefing on the novel coronavirus, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared a state of emergency to help New York more quickly and effectively contain the spread of the virus. The Governor also confirmed 32 additional cases, bringing the statewide total to 76.

View full release

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

At Coronavirus Briefing, Governor Cuomo Announces SUNY and CUNY Study Abroad Programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran, South Korea Suspended Effective Immediately in Response to Novel Coronavirus Concerns

During a briefing on the novel coronavirus, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the State University of New York's and the City University of New York's study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran and South Korea have been suspended effective immediately in response to concerns over novel coronavirus - or COVID-19. The decision was made based on recommendations from the New York State Department of Health. SUNY and CUNY are making arrangements to bring back all non-essential students, faculty and staff currently studying or working in those countries and begin 14-day quarantine. All five countries have either been issued a Level 2 or Level 3 travel notice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

View full release

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Governor Cuomo Announcement about Study Abroad

SUNY Institutions Will Have Students in Study Abroad Programs in Countries with High Prevalence of Coronavirus Return Home - Will Review All Study Abroad Programs Ahead of Potential Expanded Travel Restrictions by Federal Government”

View Full Release


Montreal Trip Cancelled

The SUNY Canton International Programs trip to Montreal has been cancelled.

Monday, March 2, 2020

As public health officials respond to the spread of the novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19), we are writing to provide you an update on developments affecting the SUNY Canton campus and the preparations we have in place.

There have been no cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty and staff. The college’s leadership remain in close contact with state and federal public health officials. New York has only one confirmed case of COVID-19, and the state Department of Public Health evaluates the current risk to New York residents as low.

In addition to emails and emergency alert notifications, the campus will keep information regarding COVID-19 here. We encourage you to check often.

Best Practices to Protect Yourself

Davis Health Center reminds all students, faculty and staff to remember the Health Smart tips to avoid spreading any respiratory virus, including COVID-19. These simple actions will help to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses and create a healthier campus community.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick. This applies to students, faculty and staff.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • It’s not too late to get a flu vaccination. Call the Davis Health Center for an appointment at 315-386-7333
  • If you are a SUNY Canton student, faculty or staff member and have travelled in or through mainland China or other evolving countries of concern, or if you have had direct contact with someone ill with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, please call the Davis Health Center at 315-386-7333.


We realize the impact that illness or a widespread outbreak could have on student attendance and ability to meet course requirements; we ask that faculty be understanding and make accommodations for student needs. As is always a good health practice, we encourage individuals who are sick to stay home or in their residence hall room if they are contagious. We encourage students to discuss making up work before they are absent from a class with each of their faculty members.

To ensure instructional continuity in the case of an emergency, all faculty should be prepared to conduct their courses online through Blackboard; if your course is not currently set up for online delivery, please consult immediately with our instructional design team Center for Learning Design, Innovation, and Online Instruction at cldioi@canton.edu.

For laboratory or clinical practice, faculty should think about how they would handle alternate assignments and/or how the work can be rescheduled should circumstances dictate.

Spring Break

On-campus students will have the option to stay in their residence hall rooms over spring break. If you would like to remain in your room during spring break, please request to do so by e-mailing reslife@canton.edu. This e-mail request must be received by 8am on Thursday, March 5th. Please note that the dining hall is closed during spring break. Students staying over break are expected to provide their own meals. However, if you have a financial hardship please make note of this in your e-mail and we will do our best to assist you. 

Students, faculty and staff who are planning to travel internationally during spring break are encouraged to monitor official government travel advisories and possibly cancel plans when possible. In recent weeks, the CDC and the State Department have elevated travel advisory levels for several countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran. While restrictions currently apply only to travelers returning to the U.S. from China, the situation is evolving and new restrictions could occur. The campus will be connecting with all international students this week to discuss how we can support them. 

Maintaining perspective, empathy and respect

While there is understandable anxiety about this new coronavirus, it is important to maintain perspective on its current status in the United States, which has resulted in approximately six fatalities. In comparison, the CDC reports over 19 million cases of flu illness and 10,000 fatalities from the flu virus already this season. Simple health practices will help prevent these and other respiratory illnesses.

Finally, while the University leadership and community health experts continue to focus on protecting our state, our students, faculty, staff, and our community, it’s important to keep in perspective the worldwide victims of this virus and the impact on their friends and family all around us. Further, it’s a timely reminder to avoid stereotyping or stigmatizing any individuals or groups and treat all people with respect and empathy.

We will continue to monitor this situation, and our medical staff is staying up to date with guidelines and recommendations to help promote the health and safety of our campus.

We will continue to provide you timely updates and guidance as this situation evolves.

How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including coronavirus?

You can reduce the risk of spreading coronaviruses by taking the same steps as you would to prevent infection from the flu and the common cold:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer, with 60-95% alcohol if water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and immediately dispose of the used tissue.

Computer Lab Use and Hand Sanitizing

The best method for disinfecting your hands is washing them with soap and water. For convenience, hand sanitizer is available in and around all SUNY Canton computer labs. Please wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after utilizing public computers.

Office of Public Relations
34 Cornell Drive
MacArthur Hall 214
Canton, NY 13617
Phone: 315-386-7300