Coronavirus: Latest Updates

This web page was created to provide resources and keep the OCC community informed. This is the official source of information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) for the College. The page will be updated frequently, so please check back regularly.

Loaner laptops are available now on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request one, fill out the online interest form
OCC will be communicating with students regularly via student email (, Blackboard and text message about updates related to the coronavirus. Please check your OCC email and Blackboard frequently for the latest updates from the school and your professors. To make sure your contact info for texting is up to date, follow our step by step instruction guide

April 2, 2020

Dear Students,

Good afternoon! I hope your second week of distance learning is going even better than your first week. We’re all adjusting to this format and, hopefully, improving a little bit each day. Please keep checking your email and Blackboard and staying in touch with your professors. Even though you didn’t plan to do your work this way, I know you can do it and be successful at it. You’re capable, and you’re awesome!

We have some amazing people here at OCC who care greatly about your well-being both as a student and as a person. We are reaching out to you regularly from across campus to help you feel connected and part of something bigger. For example, yesterday you may have seen our “Wellness Wednesdays” message from The Community Care Hub, Counseling, and the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention. You will be receiving other messaging from places like Coulter Library and the Learning Center. Please know we are committed to keeping you engaged and helping you succeed. Please reach out and let us know if there is something you need. Also, check the student resources link on the website.

With everything going on around us, it really is important to focus on some positive things. Winter is behind us, the sun is shining, days are getting longer, and we all have each other! Take care of yourselves and the people who matter to you. We look forward to a safe and successful remainder of the semester and a time when we can all return to campus safely.

Casey Crabill


Onondaga Community College

March 31, 2020

Dear Students-

Yesterday, Onondaga Community College made the difficult but necessary decision to keep college offices working remotely through April 30, meaning that none of our on-campus services will be available in a face-to-face manner until May 1, at the very earliest. Services will continue in their current remote, online formats.

In addition, it now appears that we will need to continue in alternative instructional formats through the end of the semester. Your faculty members will, over the next two weeks or so, provide you with information about what you need to do to complete the semester, including any additional grading options that may be available. Our collective goal is to get you through this semester safely and successfully.

For those of you who will be graduating, we are considering what kinds of celebrations might be possible to mark your accomplishments. I will provide you with updated information as it becomes available.

I know that many of you did not choose education in an on-line format. Your professors would say the same. This is an unprecedented situation that requires all of us to work in new, and sometimes uncomfortable ways. Our Learning Center, advisors, counselors, and other support services are still here to offer you assistance as we continue. As you look for resources that would be helpful for you, check out the link on our website Student Resources. Please reach out and let us know how you are doing and how we can help.

All of us look forward to a time when we can be together on campus safely.

Casey Crabill,

President, Onondaga Community College

March 26, 2020

President Crabill's Message to Students

Dear Students, 

Congratulations! You’ve nearly completed your first week of classes in an alternate format,  and you are past the halfway point in the semester. We are so proud of you for adapting and getting your work done in this new format. I know it may seem strange. Believe me when I tell you we are all going to get through this together. We care about your success and will do what it takes to help you reach the finish line. 

If you are struggling academically the Learning Center is open online and appointments are available! You can learn how to sign up at this website: If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected]. It’s better to get help now rather than wait! We have wonderful tutors who are ready to assist. 

I have good news from the world of financial aid.  The second disbursement will be happening on schedule next Tuesday, March 31st. 

As we approach the end of March, this is a good time to start thinking about next semester. Registration for fall 2020 and spring 2021 begin April 1st! Our advisors are available by phone to speak with you regarding your fall and spring schedules, transfer plans, change of major inquiries, graduation requirements, and other questions you may have. You can now schedule an appointment online!  

Click here to make an advising appointment

You can also schedule an appointment by emailing [email protected]. It will help us plan for your appointment if you can tell us three things: 

1.) When you're available for an appointment. 

2.) What you want to talk about during our meeting. 

3.) Would you like a phone appointment or Zoom? For Zoom you would need a computer with a web-cam and internet access. 

I know that with our computer labs temporarily closed, technology is a major issue for many of you. We are working on a solution and planning a big announcement in the next day or so which will help those of you in need of computers. 

Finally, please take care of yourself! We keep hearing in the news media about young people not paying attention to social distancing rules. I’m certain that is none of you. Stay healthy, work hard, and let’s all get to the end of the semester together!

Casey Crabill

March 23, 2020

President Crabill's Message to Students

Dear Students, 

Welcome back from spring break! Everything certainly looks different than it did just a week-and-a-half ago when you were beginning break. Please know we are committed to helping you get to the finish line this semester! If you haven’t already,  you will be hearing from your professors shortly. They’ll tell you exactly what you need to do as we all work together. If you are having any technology issues and need help with your email account or access to Blackboard, please contact the Help Desk at (315) 498-2999 or [email protected]

As of today, the Learning Center is now offering its outstanding tutoring services online. You can learn how to sign up at this website: If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected]. If one of the Learning Center’s methods of tutoring does not meet your needs, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at (315) 498-2245 or [email protected]

Please know that with everything going on, struggling is normal. If you feel you are having more difficulties than usual and would like some assistance, please call Counseling at (315) 498-2675 or email Counseling Administrative Assistant Kimber Gadaleta at [email protected]

Finally, I want to share with you some good news we can all take Lazer pride in. Last Friday your professors in the Surgical Technology, Nursing, Biology, and Chemistry departments took a look at any medical-related supplies they had which they could donate to health care workers on the front lines of this crisis. In a matter of hours they came up with masks, gowns, gloves, sterile swabs and more. We are so proud we were able to contribute our teaching materials in a lifesaving way! You can read more about it here:

Please keep checking your email, Blackboard and the College website. Even though you are not physically on campus you are still a Lazer, and our connection is stronger than ever. We look forward to a successful remainder of the semester! 


Casey Crabill

March 19, 2020

A Message from OCC President Casey Crabill 

Dear Colleagues,
I’m writing to update you on various issues related to coronavirus COVID-19. As circumstances continue to change we are in constant contact with SUNY and New York State. Some of the changes we have been required to make have been directives from Albany.  As you likely realize, things keep changing rapidly.
Presently people with functions which can only be performed on campus are on campus. Our Facilities team is continuing to keep all of our buildings operating and clean while working with a rotating, skeletal staff. I appreciate your hard work.
I want to take a moment and thank those who are working remotely and keeping the College’s front door open. Our colleagues in areas such as Student Central, Admissions, One Team, Financial Aid, Student Accounts,  and Student Recruitment have really stepped up and are doing a phenomenal job. Your service is extraordinary. Please know how much it is appreciated.
Our timeline for the remainder of the semester remains intact at the moment. We plan to resume in-person services April 1, assuming we are permitted to do so,  and to welcome students back for face-to-face instruction April 13, again if it is both advisable and permissible. Please make sure your emergency contact information is up to date and your away messages are current and accurate. If dates change, we will let you know as soon as possible. Should you need to access your office, campus buildings are unlocked during regular business hours. You are welcome to stop in, but please do not congregate.
As you watch the state budget process you may not see funding for higher education initially. At the moment the legislature’s priority is confronting the COVID-19 crisis. We have been in contact with all of our local representatives. They understand our needs and are committed to going back into session at a later date as needed. Please don’t worry at this point.
These are challenging times, especially for our students. They may struggle with this. Many students’ employment is tenuous or has ended. Our ability to be optimistic, consistent, and treat them with kindness and forgiveness is as important as ever. OCC must remain steady in the lives of both our students and the community.
For all information related to OCC and the coronavirus, please refer to the special web page our Marketing & New Media team created and continues to update at
Finally, I have two civic minded messages for you. Many of us are receiving information in the mail related to the 2020 Census. Please take a few minutes and fill it out. The information you give is critical to your community. It will determine how many congressional representatives each state has and how much federal funding areas will receive during the next decade.
We are all very fortunate to work here and be part of the OCC family. Please think about others in need. Patronize your local businesses and help them stay open. By the time you read this I’ll be heading to Laci’s Tapas Bar to pick up takeout I ordered. Keep people like Laci’s in mind. Our community is filled with businesses just like them which can use our support now more than ever.

A Message from SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson 

Dear SUNY Students,

When you chose SUNY as the place to pursue your college and career ambitions, you became part of the SUNY family. We made a commitment to you to support you along the way and that commitment remains – especially now during these challenging times. While on campus, you’ve made friends, developed traditions and enjoyed expanding your vision of what the world is and your unique role in it. I’ve heard from many of you regarding the anxiety and uncertainty you feel about your future, so I would like to offer a few thoughts and give you my personal support because that is what family does for one another.

Your safety and well-being are our number one priority. That is why we decided to cancel or postpone all study abroad programs, extended spring break, and encouraged those of you who can stay at home or with friends to not come back to your campuses until further notice. We took this action to blunt the spread of the COVID19 by reducing the density of exposure.

As part of our commitment to your academic pursuits, we worked over the past year to upgrade our online learning platform which is now accessible to provide you the tools to complete your coursework remotely. While the learning environment is different, you will have the network and backing of all of SUNY at your fingertips to help you finish the semester. And for seniors— don’t worry. If necessary, we will reschedule your commencement to make sure you walk across the stage and we proudly celebrate your accomplishments. It is also important to mention that you will receive credits or refunds for the services that you do not use this semester, such as room, board and activity fees.

As a result, campus life has been turned upside down. I know what that is like. When I was at university, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph system. It was also a major disruption that took six months of my life to overcome. What got me through it was the strong support of my family and my college network of friends, colleagues, and faculty. That same network will help support you through the COVID19 crisis.

Your SUNY family is here for you. The SUNY system and each campus president, the faculty and staff are committed to supporting you and to delivering a great education. I will continue to communicate with you weekly, and with your presidents daily. I encourage you to reach out for support. While everything may seem different, take comfort in the things that remain the same – studying, completing projects and connecting with each other virtually. Together we will get through this and come out even stronger. I promise you.

Take care of yourselves, your family, your friends, your SUNY.

Sincerely yours,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD. Chancellor, The State University of New York

March 17, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

As you can imagine, guidance on operating in this environment changes rapidly.  Last night, the Governor provided clear direction that will impact our operation from today through at least March 31, 2020.  As per the Governor’s instructions, OCC will be moving to a smaller staff of essential persons only on campus, effective at noon today.  All other employees will work remotely.  Please wait for specific guidance from your supervisor as to what that means for you.

Essential functions that will remain on campus include:

  • Mail reception
  • Campus Safety
  • Residence Hall Directors
  • Payroll
  • IT Support

Facilities staff will be scheduled as needed to ensure the campus is appropriately cleaned prior to resuming normal activity.  In addition, we will ensure the continuity of food service while we still have students in residence on campus.

All of us will need to forward our phones. Information on how to do that is at the end of this message.  Please record an appropriate voicemail message for anyone who might call.  Suggested language is:

Thank you for calling (name) at OCC. Beginning March 17, I will be working remotely through March 31st. I will be checking voicemail. Please leave a message with your number and I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also email me at (email address) and I will respond to you. Thank you for your patience and for your call.

Again, your supervisor will provide you with specific guidance regarding your own work and expectations.  From now through at least March 31, 2020, student workers should not work.  We will try to find a way to have them work extra hours later to make up for this period of time.

While we are working remotely, the campus itself is still accessible.  If you need material from your office, you are authorized to come to campus and collect what you need.  I would ask that you not gather in groups and that you sustain a reasonable distance from others who may also be on campus.

If you become ill and unable to perform the work that you have been assigned, please let your supervisor know as soon as possible so that other arrangements can be made.

If you have questions, please direct them to your supervisor.  Executive Council will continue to meet, albeit by phone, each morning at 9:00 AM, and we will use part of that time to ensure that we have a coordinated effort to keep the work of the college moving forward, including addressing questions that you might raise.

We know that OCC is important to this community and that we are a strong institution.   While this is a confusing time, we are more than capable of rising to whatever challenges await us.  We will get through this, and we will continue to help students build stronger, more prosperous futures.  Stay well.  Take care of yourselves and your families and continue to check your email and the website.


March 16, 2020

Message from President Crabill


Dear Students,

I’m writing to update you on various issues related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Today Onondaga County announced its first confirmed case and school districts across our county and several others are closing until at least mid-April. YMCA’s, including the one here on our campus, are closing. Restaurants and bars are closing tonight except for take-out or delivery service. This does not impact food service in our cafeteria. The situation is rapidly evolving with changes seemingly coming by the minute.

We are continuing to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health, and SUNY. As I write this, our plan continues to be to begin distance learning March 23 and resume face-to-face instruction April 13. In the interim campus remains open. Students who need to come to campus to use a computer will still be able to. We are reconfiguring our computer labs so that there will be a greater distance between each work station. Residence halls will remain open.

I ask that you please take a moment and make sure we have your most up-to-date contact information in our system at this website. In the event of a change in circumstances we will reach out to you using the contact information you have shared with us.

I want to remind you of the symptoms related to COVID-19. They include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Runny Nose

If you are experiencing any of these please stay home and contact your health care provider.

We’ve created a page on our website related to COVID-19 which you can find here It includes the latest information along with resources to assist you.

As I wrote earlier, the situation is rapidly evolving. We will keep you updated as things change. Please check your OCC email frequently for new developments.


Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to update you on various issues related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. As you may have heard, Onondaga County now has its first case and school districts across our county and several others are closing until at least mid-April. YMCA’s, including the one here on our campus, are closing. Restaurants and bars are closing tonight except for take-out or delivery service. The situation is rapidly evolving with changes seemingly coming by the minute.

We are continuing to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health, and SUNY System Administration. As I write this, our plan continues to be to begin alternative format instruction March 23 and resume face-to-face instruction April 13. In the interim campus remains open and employees are expected to come to work. I ask that you please take a moment and make sure your most up-to-date contact information is in our system at this website. In the event of a change in circumstances we will reach out to you using the contact information you have shared with us. In the meantime, we are preparing for circumstances that arise in which we may need to operate differently.

I want to remind you of the symptoms related to COVID-19. They include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Runny Nose

If you are experiencing any of these please stay home and contact your health care provider.

We’ve created a page on our website related to COVID-19 which you can find here Our Marketing & New Media team is doing a great job compiling the latest information along with resources for faculty, staff, and students.

As I wrote earlier, the situation is rapidly evolving. We will keep you updated as things change.


March 13, 2020

Message from President Crabill to OCC students, families and support members

As the situation unfolds regarding the impact of Coronavirus, I know you are concerned for your student at OCC. I would like to update you on what we’re doing here at OCC to care for your student and the campus community.

  • OCC is open for business. While many of our students commute, we are also a residential campus and we plan to remain open for the entire spring semester. This includes the services in the Gordon Student Center, Coulter Library, the Learning Center, Accessibility Resources, and the Cafeteria. We are providing additional sanitizing and cleaning services to support good hygiene and public health.
  • All courses and classes for the Spring 2020 semester will be taught in alternative formats, such as distance and online learning, alternate assignments, group calls, etc., until at least April 13th. Your student’s faculty members will be communicating with them about specific arrangements for their class. OCC will decide by April 6th how we will proceed for the remainder of the spring semester.  
  • OCC is on Spring Break from March 13-20. Residence halls will remain open to students over Spring Break and beyond. Resident students who plan to stay over Spring Break should see Residence Life staff in Gordon Student Center Room 130 today.
  • Students who plan to return to their room after Spring Break should reach out to Residence Life via email at [email protected]. This will help the campus to support them when they return.
  • Students who are employed on campus should talk with their supervisor regarding their work plans as soon as possible.
  • Please visit our website at for the most current information and for all communication shared with students and the public to date.
  • All students are asked to double-check all of their emergency contact information in College systems and make sure it is up to date. Students should routinely check their College email. In the event of a significant change in conditions, we want to be able to contact everyone in a timely fashion.  We are encouraging students to also familiarize themselves with the college’s online learning system, Blackboard. If students need assistance with their email account or access to Blackboard, please contact the Help Desk at [email protected] or 315-498-2999.

Above all, we are prepared to support all OCC students and to help them successfully complete the spring semester. We hope this brings you up to date and answers the questions you have at this time. We will stay in touch with you through future communications like this and through updates to Please contact me at 315-498-2214 or [email protected] if you need additional information or help.


Casey Crabill, Ed.D. - President

Message from Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson 

At this difficult time, I want to take a moment to update you on our ongoing efforts to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our State University of New York Community is paramount. Therefore, in close coordination with the Governor and his team, the Department of Health and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, we are taking action to reduce the density of exposure on our campuses in order to blunt transmission of this virus.

As you know, SUNY will be moving as many academic programs as possible to distance learning via our online platform, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, email and even traditional mail. We believe that these remote instruction modalities are necessary at this time to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Our SUNY COVID-19 Task Force has been working around the clock with campus leaders and our state government partners to prepare for and respond to the growing pandemic. While the large majority of our campuses have not reported confirmed cases of the virus, we are acting out of an abundance of caution to both protect our SUNY community and the community at large.

We canceled all study abroad programs for the rest of the semester and last week transported our students back to the United States from China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran – all countries where COVID-19 is prevalent. Once the students returned, we arranged for several precautionary quarantine scenarios. Some students voluntarily quarantined at home, while others are undergoing a 14-day precautionary quarantine in specially prepared dorms.

We are now working to bring back all students who are studying abroad, regardless of the country in which they are located – a move I believe is prudent and in keeping with our main goal of limiting COVID-19 exposure to our students, faculty and staff.

Fortunately, we have been working for the last year to upgrade and modernize our online SUNY learning platform. Working with the Governor’s office, we directed each of our campuses to develop comprehensive plans for distance learning with the goal of continuing academic instruction, uninterrupted, in the safest manner possible.

Next week is spring break for most of SUNY’s university centers, comprehensive, technical and community colleges. The Governor’s guidance allows for campuses to extend their spring break by a week, in order to fully prepare for the transition to distance learning and remote instruction. Some campuses are ready to launch and therefore will not require a full week. By March 19, we will have our plans in place and be able to transition as many courses as possible online. Please consult with your individual campus regarding this revised academic schedule.

Campuses will make their distance learning curriculum available to all students. We recognize, as does the Governor, that some students will need to remain on campus for special circumstances, such as housing needs, employment responsibilities, and to fulfill coursework that requires hands-on instruction or laboratory work. We will make sure their learning environment is safe.

Therefore, many campus dormitories, dining halls and other facilities will remain open for the duration of the semester, until further notice. We will offer students the choice to return to campus. However, if they either choose not to return or are unable to do so, we will do whatever it takes to ensure they can fulfill and complete their academic requirements remotely. We are working quickly to resolve the financial impact remote instruction and distance learning will have on a student’s account.

In a system with 1.2 million students we understand that one size will not fit all. We will work to find solutions – on a case-by-case basis, if necessary – to ensure that every student can continue their education and complete their coursework to the extent possible. This global public health crisis has resulted in dozens of new confirmed COVID-19 cases across the state daily. We have thus far confirmed cases of students with COVID19 at three campuses and have followed all local and state guidance to protect these campus communities.

I understand this situation is causing tremendous anxiety among students and their families, as well as our faculty and staff. Do know that the COVID-19 is a fragile but virulent virus. However, public health experts have repeatedly stressed that the best way to protect yourself against this virus is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid touching your face, disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated and stay home if you are feeling sick.

In order to maintain our calm and to reduce anxiety that has arisen as a result of this outbreak, we will continue to keep our lines of communication open and to provide accurate information in a responsible manner. I am committed to keeping you as up to date as possible. I am confident that by working together we can overcome this ever-changing crisis and emerge stronger with important lessons learned that we can apply to strengthen our system in the future.

I thank you for your cooperation and willingness to follow the advice provided by public health experts who are working to keep COVID-19 from spreading. Rest assured that SUNY and our campus leaders will continue to monitor this situation, keep you apprised of changes and developments as they occur and answer any questions and concerns you may have.

Sincerely yours,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD. Chancellor, State University of New York

For more information from SUNY and SUNY FAQ's visit

March 12, 2020

OCC to Begin Distance Learning Instruction March 23

In an effort to help manage the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and in conjunction with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement, Onondaga Community College will begin distance learning instruction March 23. Presently the College’s plan is to reopen for face-to-face instruction on April 13, if permissible and advisable. A final decision on the reopening date will be made one week prior based on guidance from SUNY and the health department. Throughout this period the college and campus will remain open and employees will report to work. Services will remain available to students.

Related policies and precautions include the following:

  • OCC students will be on spring break during the week of March 16. Residence Hall students will be allowed to return to residence halls March 22. Disinfectant supplies will be available in each living area.
  • Computer facilities will be available on campus for students. Social distancing best practices will be in effect. Students will be separated by 6-foot buffers while using computers. Disinfectant supplies will be available at each computer along with instructional signage regarding proper usage.
  • Coulter Library and the Learning Center tutoring center will remain open but any meetings will only happen in small groups.
  • All College athletics teams’ practices and games prior to April 13 will be suspended.
  • Any gatherings on the OCC campus of more than 50 people prior to April 13 will be cancelled and every effort will be made to reschedule.

As has been the case since the beginning of this process, OCC will continue to receive guidance from the Onondaga County Health Department, the New York State Health Department, and SUNY.

It is important that all students, faculty, and employees double-check all of their emergency contact information in College systems and make sure it is up to date. All members of the campus community should routinely check their College email. In the event of a significant change in conditions, we want to be able to contact everyone in a timely fashion.

“We are charged to serve students and will continue to do so as usual. Our mission of bettering students’ lives through higher education remains the same. The way in which we will do so is changing temporarily. I know our entire campus community is ready for this challenge and will pull together to serve students to the best of our abilities,” said Onondaga Community College President Dr. Casey Crabill.

March 11, 2020

Message from President Crabill

I wanted to send you an update on the various issues related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  While there are still no identified cases in Onondaga county as of today, there is a rapidly evolving discussion about the role/responsibility of college campuses and the appropriate steps necessary to assist in the containment effort and to keep our community members safe.  At OCC, we are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and SUNY System Administration.  SUNY is holding daily briefings, and they are providing information and guidance to support campuses.  This afternoon, the Governor announced that SUNY and CUNY would be moving to alternative formats (distance learning, teleconferences, etc.) beginning March 19.  Each campus will need to develop and submit a plan for the remainder of the semester.  SUNY will be providing specific information later this afternoon.

During this time of alternative format instruction, unless we are directed otherwise at a later date, the campus will continue to be open, employees are expected to come to work, and services will operate fully.  Social distancing measures will be implemented, and gatherings intended for more than 50 people will be canceled.  This change will pose a challenge for all of us, including and perhaps especially our students.  This morning’s Inside Higher Education talks about the particular challenges this kind of situation poses for community college students. 

To help prepare our students, I ask that you encourage them to continue to check their OCC emails and to familiarize themselves with Blackboard.  These will be critical communication tools for the rest of the semester.  Please send students who need assistance with their email accounts or their access to Blackboard to the Help Desk.  Students without WiFi at home will still be able to use computer labs on campus during open hours; however, the number of students allowed in such labs may have to be reduced at that time to support social distancing.

The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving and we are preparing for all potential contingencies. As we move into spring break, please continue to look for updates and information.  If you are planning to travel over spring break, particularly out of the country, please ensure that you are paying attention to guidance from the CDC.

Thank you for your continued cooperation at this time.