Dr. Dennis DePerro

Dr. Dennis DePerro, St. Bonaventure University president.

ST. BONAVENTURE — With COVID-19 cases increasing in the community, St. Bonaventure University ended its in-session portion of the fall semester early on Friday.

In an online statement to the campus community, Dr. Dennis DePerro, president of the university, said the decision was made to close the campus despite being under the 100-case threshold required by New York state for closure.

“Just one week ago, on Nov. 12, with only 12 days to go before the Thanksgiving break transition to online-only instruction, the university had only three active COVID-19 cases, and a total of just 26 since Aug. 1,” DePerro’s message stated. “The university community, the vast majority of our students included, did a tremendous job keeping the campus safe for almost the entire semester.”

But a surge in positive cases that began Monday, which DePerro said was reflective of a trend in the region, continued throughout this past week.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the most prudent decision for the well-being of the campus community is to cease classroom instruction and send students home,” he said.

Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to complete their mandatory isolation period on campus or in their off-campus residence.

DePerro said, given the spike in cases across the nation, urged all students to follow health and safety protocols when they return home.

“As we approach one of our most beloved holidays, I want to express my thanks to everyone in the St. Bonaventure community for your remarkable efforts this semester,” he said. “I do know that we fared so much better than many schools, some of which had to close their doors a week or two into the semester.”

Earlier this week, the men’s basketball program at St. Bonaventure paused all team activities following a positive COVID-19 test result within the team’s “Tier 1” personnel group. Tier 1 members include student-athletes, coaches, team managers and support staff.

It wasn’t made known publicly if that positive case came from a player.

NCAA programs are required to pause all program activities for at least a 14-day period if there is a positive test at the Tier 1 level. That means Bona will not participate in its season-opening Mohegan Sun event in Connecticut — the team was slated to play three games from Nov. 25-27 against Towson, Stephen F. Austin and Army.

Given the mandatory two-week break, the Bonnies could potentially set a target return date of Dec. 3. Bona was unofficially set to play Hofstra in its home opener after returning from Connecticut and also has two other non-conference dates against Akron in Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse (Dec. 15) and Buffalo inside the Reilly Center (Dec. 22).

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