Marist officials say they're frustrated with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and are urging students to take current health guidelines seriously.

According to Marist College, the school has seen over 400 cases of COVID-19 this semester. The outbreak, which started during St. Patrick's Day week, forced the college to enter into a voluntary pause on March 17. The pause was eventually extended on March 21 and again on March 26 after cases continued to grow.

The campus pause was supposed to end on Wednesday but has now been extended for a third time until at least April 4. Marist is still reporting 158 active cases, which is slightly down from the 179 cases last week but not nearly enough to claim victory over the two-week-long outbreak.

In-person classes are still suspended, with students learning remotely from their dorm rooms. Campus activities, sports and in-person dining also continue to be on pause. Along with the dining hall, the McCann Recreation Center will remain shuttered as well.

Marist emphasized that administrators will continue to do whatever they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 on campus, but need the cooperation of students to make it happen.

It is more critical than ever that students follow public health guidelines and while we recognize that the vast majority of students have done so, the College is vigorously taking action against those who do not. As a reminder, anyone who sees violations of the COVID Code of Conduct are encouraged to call (845) 575-MASK to report an incident so the College can investigate.

The college will remain on pause until Sunday, April 4, and is now hoping that the expansion of vaccine eligibility for everyone over 16 will help salvage the rest of the spring semester. Unfortunately, most students won't be able to even sign up for a vaccine until April 6, two days after Marist's latest pause is set to expire.

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