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SUNY Mandating Pooled Surveillance Testing

September 8, 2020

College community,

As you may have heard or read over the weekend, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras has mandated that all 64 SUNY institutions undertake pooled surveillance testing for COVID-19.

The Chancellor has required that each SUNY college submit a testing plan for approval by some time on Thursday (Sept. 10). Once plans are approved by SUNY, System expects that they will be implemented.

Our COVID-19 Response Team met this morning and has begun the early stages of developing our plan. Our Health and Safety Work Group, headed by Gerianne Brusati, will take the lead on this new requirement. SUNY has provided guidance to get us started, but the local implementation process is what we are tackling now. 

While many details still need to be worked out, we do know that SUNY Orange’s daily on-campus population is less than 1,000 people. Based upon that statistic, SUNY has indicated that we should test all students and employees once every two weeks. I can’t yet describe with specificity what that process will look like, or how we will logistically address it. Those pieces of the plan, along with others, are not yet solidified. As the pieces come into focus and are approved by SUNY, we will share them via email and on our COVID-19 website.

SUNY’s move to large-scale, system-wide testing is a direct response to outbreaks at several four-year residential campuses. To date, the wise health and safety measures SUNY Orange put into place for the Fall semester, along with the smart choices our on-campus students and employees have undertaken, allowed us to safely complete the first two weeks of the semester. I appreciate and am very proud of the work everyone has done to date.

Please keep using the #CampusClear self-screening app, “mask up” when on campus, maintain proper social distancing and wash your hands often. We remain unified in our vision and goals for the Fall, and I expect we will continue in a safe and healthy fashion.

Regards,

Kris