Some of the College at Brockport students in Italy, pulled from their study abroad programs, have started their quarantine on-campus, amid a COVID-19 outbreak in the country. A bus with 18 students arrived early Sunday morning, and those students will be housed in Gordon Hall on campus for the next two weeks.
Italy has seen the biggest coronavirus outbreak in Europe. College at Brockport President Heidi McPherson and Congressman Joe Morelle said these students had already been screened and do not show any symptoms of COVID-19. We're told this is a precautionary measure.
"They were given a choice. Either to come here or Stonybrook out on Long Island or to go home and be under what they call self-isolation. And so [some] didn't want to be isolated, the handful that wanted to come to school. They will be under quarantine. They will not be in contact with any other student population," Morelle said on Saturday.
These students are part of roughly 300 students who were ordered to come home from countries with outbreaks. College at Brockport was selected as one of the campuses across the state to host them.
Sunday evening, the town of Sweden supervisor posted on Facebook saying he was notified by state officials more students would arrive on Monday from South Korea and Japan to New York, and some of those students could be coming to stay at SUNY Brockport, joining the others who arrived Saturday night from Italy.
The supervisor said the quarantine is described as voluntary by state officials.
"Therefore, if a student wants to leave, they will be allowed to do so, but the appropriate notifications will be made to local officials. Furthermore, there are many other students returning from such programs who have chosen voluntarily quarantine at home and are traveling home commercially," the supervisor wrote on Facebook.
The supervisor also urged for more patience in understanding among residents.
"Please understand we are trying our best to walk the delicate balance between advocating for transparency from higher levels of government and protection for our town, while also showing compassion for the human beings at the center of this. I believe Sweden can do both things at the same time, they are not mutually exclusive," the supervisor wrote. "The bottom line is state and county officials are making these decisions, and Sweden must do what it can to stay informed and adapt."