COVID infection rates soaring in University Heights, but officials not pointing finger at college students

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–in Erie County, the infection rate for COVID-19 has been 5, 6, 7%.

Based on Health Department figures, the zip code that includes Univerasity Heights has the highest infection rate in Erie County.

At UB, it was less than 1%.

Classes just ended at UB as the school breaks for Thanksgiving, so ends in-person classes for the rest of the semester.

When students return from the break it will be all remote teaching.

UB test about 15,000 students over the last two weeks. Less than 1% of the tests turned out positive, and those students are required to quarantine.

The testing at UB was part of a system-wide effort by SUNY officials to test all 400,000 students in the university system.

After it was all said and done, SUNY officials said it was students that have slowed the spread.

“While students often have been criticized for being the vectors of spread of the virus, this goes to show you that students can step up and do the right thing,” SUNY Chancellor James Malatras.

SUNY Chancellor James Malatras had high words of praise for SUNY students’ effort to flatten the curve.

“We have tested more than 535,000 students, .52% positive. If we were a state we would be the lowest state, positivity rate in the nation,” Malatras added.

Jaclyn Raymond, a grad student at UB, will get to experience the remote learning from both sides as both a student and teaching assistant next semester.

“It is going to be tough, but it just needs some effort and I think it should go okay,” Raymond said.

While SUNY’S statewide student infection rate was about one half of one percent.. U-B’s was also less than one percent.. which would also have been among the lowest in the country.

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