Party Selfies and Hazmat Suits: Inside SUNY Oneonta's Coronavirus Outbreak

“They had a plan for if the semester went perfectly, and that’s it,” Mr. Levine said.

But shortly after the shutdown was announced, about a dozen students in the isolation hall gathered for drinks, and took a selfie, which ended up on social media.

Chancellor Malatras said his “blood boiled” when he saw the photo. (The school spokeswoman said the students in the photo will be disciplined.)

Most other students began the process of going home.

Ms. Pinkney, who had taken a pool test that had come back negative during the second week of classes, was urged by her father, who has colon cancer, to get tested again. She took a rapid test in town on Sept. 4, which came back positive.

She was placed in the school’s isolation dorm for 10 days, where she remained until Sunday.

Ms. Pinkney’s father, Daryl, said he hasn’t heard anything from the college about the outbreak and closure. He said he’s extremely at-risk after having surgery to treat his cancer about two weeks ago. The family was scrambling to find housing for Ms. Pinkney, who is now staying in a regular dorm room until she tests negative.

“It’s a ripple effect. All this stuff affects people’s lives,” Mr. Pinkney said. “I want to protect my daughter, but I want to protect myself.”

The overall lack of planning and communication has bothered other parents.

Ms. Dimonda’s mother, Debra, said she found out the school closed only when her sister told her over the phone.

She wished the SUNY campuses had one general plan and worked together.

“After all the state went through, they had a really big missed opportunity to band together with the governor and chancellor to make a real plan to protect students across the board equally,” Ms. Dimonda said.


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