SUNY Cortland has over 100 positive Covid-19 Cases, but will remain open under the new rules


Eriki Bitterbaum (



SUNY Cortland is above the 100 student threshold for positive COVID-19 cases today, but thanks to new State Health Department rules students will not have to go to remote learning as planned. The new rules allow 5 percent of a student body — or 209 students in SUNY Cortland’s case — to test positive before moving to online-only learning, said President Eric Bitterbaum in an email this afternoon. SUNY Cortland currently has 110 positives out of 9,190 tests administered in the last 14 days, according to SUNY data.


President Bitterbaum’s email is copied below:

Dear students,

I wanted to share my appreciation for your efforts over the past few weeks in committing to our expanded COVID-19 testing. Asking you to test twice each week was a significant request and I thank you for working to help us stop the spread of the virus on our campus.

One important update you should know is that the New York State Department of Health has revised its policies for study-in-place pauses. SUNY Cortland will no longer automatically go on pause if it records 100 positive tests within a two-week period.

This new policy states:

  • Colleges will enter a pause if 5% of its campus population tests positive during a rolling, 14-day period.
  • Based on SUNY Cortland’s population this semester, our threshold is now 209 positive tests.
  • You may view campus-specific data on the SUNY COVID-19 Case Tracker, which SUNY is in the process of redesigning to reflect the change. Additional details about the plan are available online.

This is good news for SUNY Cortland. I want you to experience in-person classes and be able to use campus facilities such as the Student Life Center.

However, you still must remain diligent in the fight against COVID-19. Please continue to wear face coverings, avoid large gatherings and attend COVID-19 testing as directed. I thank you those of you who have been following these guidelines to keep our community safe.

All the best,

Erik J. Bitterbaum