LIU Post in Brookville switches to remote classes following increase in student COVID-19 cases
Starting Thursday, LIU Post shut down its Brookville campus and moved classes online for two weeks as a coronavirus outbreak continues to grow at the university.
LIU President Kimberly Cline announced the two-week closure in a letter Wednesday night.
Cline said additional COVID-19 cases were reported recently by students who were in contact with other students at off-campus gatherings.
A total of 45 cases have been reported on its school dashboard. In addition, there are close to 100 people currently quarantining – some with COVID-19 symptoms.
On Monday, the university blamed off-campus gatherings attended by school athletes for the outbreak that resulted in an initial cluster of 14 cases.
Students and faculty have taken to social media to demand the university do more to keep the campus safe and COVID-19 free. They say they want to see surveillance testing implemented as a way to detect a possible problem before it becomes more widespread.
Associate LIU professor Heather Parrott blasted university administration, saying the only people actually being tested on campus are athletes -- not students and staff.
“These off-campus parties for athletes is what’s being blamed for outbreaks on campus, however we have no idea the extent of COVID on campus because if they’re not doing any testing on campus, we have no idea the extent of the outbreak,” says Parrott.
The 11-year staff member also criticized university leaders for not allowing professors to teach remotely.
"The administration's stance was, if you didn't want to teach face to face, you either had to take an unpaid leave or retire. Those are really your only options," she says.
Parrott says she knows a number of professors who have taken the administration up on those options, leaving a huge loss for the student body.
"We have faculty, even vulnerable faculty members or faculty members who have vulnerable family members who are teaching within the classroom," says Parrott.
LIU's other campuses in Riverhead and Brentwood will continue in-person instruction.