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Usually Busy Iona College Campus Desolate As Classes Go Virtual Due To COVID Spike

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Dozens of students at a college in Westchester have tested positive for COVID-19.

Many others now have to either isolate or self-quarantine.

As CBS2's John Dias reports, the usually busy Iona College campus was desolate Tuesday, and it will be for the next two weeks. All classes there are being held online following a spike in COVID cases.

"Even though it's different, we still enjoy being here," said student Aidan Connolly.

Iona reported 65 students tested positive. The increase was first identified among student athletes - seven teams now have positive cases.

Dwane Koroma is on the basketball team. Tuesday morning, he was on his way to get tested for a second time in three days.

"I've heard from some students that some have been responsible and some haven't," Koroma said.

Students say the college works hard to keep them safe. Even statues wear masks to serve as reminders. The school also joined the social media movement #MaskUpMonday.

"Everyday we monitor symptoms and if we feel anything, we chose to stay out of class, self quarantine," said junior Charles Sawicki.

Officials don't believe transmission is widespread. In a statement, the school says "we are acting decisively to protect our community."

There's already heightened sensitivity here. New Rochelle was one of the first COVID clusters in the country.

"We only want things to get better, not worse," one person said.

On CBS This Morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said experts predicted fall would be a challenging season, particularly because schools start.


"What we're doing is we are targeting what we call 'micro clusters.' So when we see a small group of cases, we are the firefighters who rush in to stamp it out before it takes off," Cuomo said.

School officials traced the spread back to what's being described as "a single isolated event." We're told some students responsible for that activity will undergo a judicial review.

Contact tracers are still tracking down everyone affected who is required to isolate or quarantine.

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