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Campus Update

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.