Chancellor Malatras and Binghamton University President Stenger Announce Cases on Campus Stabilize and Broome County Health Department Lifts Precautionary Pause

October 21, 2020

All In-Person Classes, Activities, and Services to Resume on Campus on October 22 as 7-Day Rolling Rate of Positives Cases is at 0.54% and 14-Day at 0.84%

Students Strongly Urged to Stay on Campus and Utilize Resources as Broome County Remains as a New York State Yellow Zone for COVID Cases

Binghamton to Continue Weekly Testing of Students, Faculty, and Staff Reporting to Campus and Strict Enforcement of Health Safety Protocols Continues

Chancellor Malatras said "Binghamton University is the second SUNY campus to rebound from coronavirus cases, and it is thanks to students, faculty, staff, and partners within the larger community who understand the seriousness of the pandemic and are taking every effort to protect each other."

Binghamton, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras and Binghamton University President Harvey G. Stenger today announced cases on campus have stabilized and the Broome County Health Department lifted the pause on all in-person classes, activities, and services to resume tomorrow, Thursday, October 22. Binghamton's seven-day rolling rate of positive cases is down from 4.78 percent at the pause to 0.54 percent today.

Students are strongly urged at this time to stay on campus and utilize all resources offered at Binghamton University while Broome County remains as a New York State yellow, or precautionary, zone for COVID cases. The SUNY university center will continue to follow its weekly pooled surveillance testing of students, faculty, and staff reporting to campus, and Binghamton University will continue its strict enforcement of SUNY's evidence-based COVID-19 safety guidelines.

"Binghamton University is the second SUNY campus to rebound from coronavirus cases, and it is thanks to students, faculty, staff, and partners within the larger community who understand the seriousness of the pandemic and are taking every effort to protect each other," said Chancellor Malatras. "Containing this virus is the result of extensive testing, contact tracing from the Broome County Health Department, and full compliance from our students. The students did a phenomenal job over the past two weeks. As Broome County Health Department and government officials continue to work to contain the virus within the county, we can't let our guard down. As the fall continues, we will all need to remain steadfast in our efforts to keep campuses open and each other safe."

Binghamton University President Stenger said, "Our ability to quickly bring down the number of positive cases at Binghamton University took cooperation from everyone—students, faculty, and staff—who adhered to public health guidelines and committed to reducing contacts with others. I'm proud of our efforts as a campus community to quell the spread of the coronavirus and know that we are returning to in-person classes reenergized and ready to successfully complete our semester."

Broome County Executive Jason T. Garnar said, "Broome County continues to work closely with Binghamton University, and we thank them for doing their part to help our community slow the spread of COVID-19. Over the past two weeks while BU has been on pause we have seen a significant decrease in the number of cases tied to the University and we are supportive of this decision. As the semester moves forward, we will continue working together with public health as a top priority."

Binghamton University Faculty Senate Chair Jill Dixon said, "We are thrilled that our faculty will be able to return to the classroom and continue doing what they love to do most. We are proud of Binghamton University faculty for being able to adapt and for being flexible during these periods of change. SUNY faculty will be supported in every way possible to help with whatever barriers they may face so that Binghamton University can continue to provide a high-quality education to its students during the COVID-19 era."

Binghamton University Student Association President Khaleel James said, "Today's decision to lift the precautionary pause for Binghamton University could not have happened without my fellow students' dedication to following protocols and keeping up the morale to move forward amidst unprecedented changes. I am proud to call myself a Binghamton University student, and remind my classmates to keep up the compliance with the safety measures in place so we can finish out the semester strong."

Binghamton Mayor Richard David said, "Chancellor Malatras and President Stenger have advanced a robust testing effort to keep students, faculty, and staff safe during this pandemic. Working together with Binghamton University, our community is confident in campus measures to get students back in class and complete their studies for the semester."

Assembly Member Donna Lupardo said "With the health and safety of students as its top priority, Binghamton University acted quickly to contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Working with SUNY, Binghamton increased testing capacity, set up quarantine spaces, and communicated directly with students and staff to address the recent spike. I'd like to commend the Chancellor and everyone at the University for their effective response to this recent spike in COVID cases."

Chancellor Malatras, President Stenger, and Broome County Executive Garnar announced a two-week pause on Wednesday, October 7 due to the campus exceeding the 100 positive case, state mandated threshold. Following the pause, the campus worked aggressively to increase testing and enforcement of safety protocols to limit the spread of the virus and reduce the number of positive cases on campus. Binghamton University is the second campus to resume classes following a precautionary pause. SUNY Oswego resumed in-person classes on Monday, October 5.

Since the semester began, Binghamton University has conducted 16,367 tests for the coronavirus, with an overall positivity rate of 1.08 percent. The university required students to be tested before the start of classes.

To date, SUNY campuses have administered 235,315 tests on campus since the fall semester began, with a positivity rate of 0.55 percent. Over the last seven days, SUNY campuses have conducted 38,476 tests, with a positivity rate of 0.40 percent. Thanks to major breakthroughs at SUNY Upstate Medical University, SUNY has the capacity to test 120,000 students each week.

SUNY leaders monitor both the virus case numbers that count toward the NYSDOH-issued threshold windows as well as rolling data, both of which are easily accessible and updated daily on SUNY's COVID-19 Case Tracker.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit suny.edu.


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