ICYMI: Chancellor Malatras Speaks with NPR Here & Now Host Tonya Mosley About SUNY’s Pre-Thanksgiving Mandatory Testing for All Students

November 23, 2020

Albany, NY – In an audio segment aired today by NPR, State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras spoke with Here & Now host Tonya Mosley about SUNY’s required COVID-19 measure mandating that all SUNY students receive a negative COVID-19 test result before returning home for the holidays.

Listen to Chancellor Malatras’ full interview here.

State University of New York Requires Students Test Negative Before Leaving For Thanksgiving

Millions of students at colleges and universities around the country are preparing for Thanksgiving break, a time when most of them would usually leave campus. This year, however, the surging coronavirus pandemic has complicated the annual student exodus.

At The State University of New York system, known as SUNY, all students will be required to provide proof of negative test results before they're allowed to leave. Jim Malatras is SUNY’s Chancellor, and he joins us now for more from Albany, New York.

Chancellor Malatras: We’ve been testing now for about two weeks, as we wind down our in-person classes for the remainder of the semester. To date we’ve tested 149,000 students and faculty, so we’re virtually there of testing everyone. We have today and tomorrow and we end at tomorrow at noon, but we’re basically there already. It’s been a tough arduous task, a giant operational undertaking and challenge, but our campuses have done quite well.

In New York State, like most states, if you test positive for COVID it’s a 14-day isolation or quarantine period. We have a moral responsibility to our students as well, right? Some students have the ability to work with their local health department and find a space at home. But for many of our students who are living through this deeply troubling time health wise—but also economically, they’re living on the edge with housing insecurity and food insecurity—we thought it was really important to mandate that our campuses remain open for those students who need housing, who need meals, who need medical support, which they’re doing.

The full segment follows an announcement from Chancellor Malatras about mandatory testing before SUNY students return home for Thanksgiving.

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, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. As of Fall 2019, more than 415,500 students were enrolled in a degree-granting program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in 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 exceeded $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are 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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