ALBANY, N.Y. — In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, SUNY has adopted a policy mandating that students using on-campus facilities test negative for COVID-19 prior to leaving campus.
The test must be completed at least 10 days prior to leaving for Thanksgiving break.
Schools are expected to create schedules to conduct testing as close to the student's date of departure and no later than November 5.
“As in-person classes and instruction come to a close next month, tens of thousands of students will travel across the state and country to be with their families and complete their fall courses remotely,” said Chancellor Malatras. “By requiring all students to test negative before leaving, we are implementing a smart, sensible policy that protects students’ families and hometown communities and drastically reduces the chances of COVID-19 community spread. While we understand there is a lot of focus on plans for the spring semester, we must first finish this semester safely. I want to thank our students for the phenomenal effort during these difficult times as well as SUNY health policy experts for helping us create this guidance that ensures a safe wind down of the fall semester.”
SUNY colleges and universities are set to shift to 100% remote learning after Thanksgiving.
Any student who is taking at least one class on campus, or utilizing any on-campus service, like the gym, library or dining hall, will have to be tested.
Antibody tests will not count toward this requirement.
Colleges are expected to reinforce that students should limit contact, wear masks and practice social distancing after they take their test and before leaving.
Non-resident students who test positive will have to follow quarantine and isolation guidance from the county health department. A residential student that tests positive will also have to quarantine or isolate as well, and colleges will need to attend to the residential student's needs during that period of isolation.
SUNY is recommending that all faculty and staff are also tested.
SUNY schools have tested more than 270,000 students with a positivity rate of 0.52%.