SUNY increases frequency of mandatory COVID testing

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ONEONTA, N.Y. (WETM)- State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras joined SUNY Oneonta Acting President Dennis Craig and local officials to reopen campus for the spring semester. Today, as students move back to campus housing for pre-semester COVID testing and quarantining before the SUNY-required push back of the Spring Semester start date of in-person classes on February 1st, Chancellor Malatras announced that all SUNY campuses will increase the frequency of SUNY’s mandatory COVID testing to weekly testing of all students, faculty, and staff who regularly come to campus. SUNY Oneonta is set to do so. Healthcare students who have volunteered to help with COVID response will be made available to campuses to help administer tests. To date, approximately 2,500 students have signed up to volunteer.

Chancellor Malatras also reaffirmed spring semester guidance, which was announced last November, and includes pre-testing of all students prior to the start of the semester, mandatory pre-semester quarantine of students, mandatory mask wearing at all times, even when socially distanced, no spring break, uniform compliance and enforcement standards, expanded mental health and wellness services, and a student’s bill of rights for greater transparency. Since the 2020-2021 academic year began in August, SUNY has conducted 723,891 tests with a 0.57 positive percentage rate. Preliminary data suggests in-person instruction has not been a vector of the spread.

Today’s visit with campus and local leaders, students, and faculty is his first in 2021 as he resumes regional campus visits for the spring semester.

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