Syracuse University’s Emerging Cluster of COVID-19, Continued Vigilance Critical to Public Health Strategy

On Tuesday September 6, 2020, Syracuse University informed the community of a pandemic related recent event and reiterated the university’s commitment to maintaining a safe campus given COVID-19 protocols that are in place.

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families:

I am writing to inform you that over the past 24 hours, the University’s public health surveillance team has identified an emerging cluster of positive COVID-19 cases within our campus community. This cluster appears to stem from off-campus gatherings, including at least one off-campus party that we know of, held late last week. We have recently confirmed 13 new positive COVID-19 cases that can be traced directly or indirectly to this event. As the contact tracing and testing process continues, we anticipate additional positive cases connected to this party. We will continue to update our community as we get more information throughout the day.

Our initial investigation suggests that this emerging cluster is the result of one or more students returning to campus after traveling outside of Central New York to visit another college late last week. We are working closely with the Onondaga County Health Department to quickly identify and isolate all those potentially impacted and at risk because of this unfortunate series of events.

To that end, we are asking that anyone who attended a party or social gathering late last week or over the weekend, at an apartment complex on Walnut Avenue, to shelter in place (do not attend class) and immediately contact the COVID Program Management Office at 315.443.6180 or

The overwhelmingly positive and selfless behavior, exhibited by the vast majority of our students to this point in the semester, makes our current situation all the more disappointing. It will take quick and coordinated cooperation of the entire campus community to prevent this situation from expanding beyond our ability to control. Again, we will continue to update our community as we get more information throughout the day.


Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation