Several schools closed amid COVID-19 outbreak, calls to close CUNY and others strengthen

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NEW YORK CITY — While some private universities are shut down due to coronavirus, CUNY remains open.

Columbia, Fordham, Princeton, Hofstra and now NYU have each already canceled classes or have plan to hold classes remotely online due to the spread of coronavirus.

CUNY, the largest public university in the city — with some 275,000 students — has not.

“All they’re doing is posting online about corona, they’ve been sending emails,” said Zoey Chang, a sophomore at Hunter College, part of the CUNY system. “But I don’t think it’s helpful ultimately because of how small the space is and how many students they’re fitting inside.”

That aproach has left some students wondering why.

“It’s just safer for everybody to close the schools down,” said Maria Syroba, a sophomore at Hunter. “Everybody uses the MTA, everybody uses the buses.”

At Columbia, where officials have canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday and have moved to online classes for the rest of the week, students were relieved.

“Overall, I think we’re coping pretty well,” said Eliza Stable, a first-year at Barnard.

There’s an online petition with nearly 10,000 signatures to close CUNY schools.

In a statement, CUNY said there are no cancellations at this time. On their website it says they are aware of no coronavirus cases involving anyone in the CUNY community, but said the situation is fluid.

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