Pooled testing ordered for SUNY Cobleskill, 12 students suspended


COBLESKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras has announced immediate pooled saliva testing for all students at the university following a breach of COVID safety requirements. The 12 students caught breaching the rules have been suspended by university President Marion Terenzio.

The students involved are alleged to have hosted or attended parties over the weekend. A number of UAlbany students faced similar punishment for breaching coronavirus protocols over the weekend, while five students and three campus organizations were suspended by SUNY Oneonta.

“The vast majority of SUNY Cobleskill’s on-campus students are complying with college safety protocols designed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

We must take a strong stand on this risky behavior that violates our code of conduct and jeopardizes students who want to continue their education on campus. Protecting the campus community is paramount, and non-compliance with our approved safety plan will not be tolerated.

There will be time to enjoy the full campus experience, but now is the time to be a responsible member of the community and learn what it takes to be selfless in this process.”

President Marion Terenzio
SUNY Cobleskill

So far, only two SUNY Cobleskill students have tested positive for COVID-19, and the college says those cases were “immediately addressed”. The two positive cases were flagged as part of the semester’s pre-screening requirements and are not part of the group of students who have suspended.

In August, SUNY was approved by the New York State Department of Health to undertake pooled surveillance testing for COVID-19. The method uses batches of saliva, which can be as small as 10 and as large as 25 samples which are then pooled together and ran as one test.

It has also been announced the college will begin testing of its wastewater management system in order to give an early indication of any potential outbreaks.

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