SUNY completes pre-Thanksgiving break COVID testing

NY Capitol News

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras stopped by SUNY Schenectady Tuesday to share the outcome of the university system’s mandatory testing requirement for on-campus students ahead of the Thanksgiving break. SUNY wrapped up the testing at noon.

More than 152,000 students were tested, and of those, about 0.63% were positive.

“I think it’s an easy process; they’ve made it pretty simple for us. It’s really not a hassle to get over here and get tested. It takes 5 minutes,” said SUNY Schenectady student Henry Zelenak.

Chancellor Malatras says the average turnaround time for results is less than 48 hours. There are currently 880 students among the 64 campuses, or near those campuses, in quarantine or isolation. 

“Our campuses have to remain open over the Thanksgiving holidays and beyond in order to provide services and care for those students who have no other alternative,” Malatras said.

SUNY Upstate Medical University is the primary test processer. They provide their testing materials to campuses and then process the materials at SUNY Upstate. The University at Albany also has a saliva test they produce and process. 

With the focus on testing now, NEWS10 ABC asked if SUNY has any plans to administer a vaccine in the future.

“That’s an open question. I think we are really excited about the possibility as more vaccines are potentially coming into the marketplace. We’re excited about the Pfizer vaccine because our research scientists have been part of that process. In fact, SUNY Upstate is doing the clinical trials for that vaccine, but I think that is a ways off for many students across the country or in New York State,” Malatras said. 

SUNY is also requiring pre-testing before students come back for the spring semester.

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