Chancellor Malatras visits New Paltz to review mandatory Test Before You Go COVID-19 testing

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras visited SUNY New Paltz on Friday, Nov. 20, and spoke with students, campus administrators and local leaders during the final days of the SUNY system’s mandatory end-of-fall COVID-19 testing.

“Our students, campus leadership, faculty and staff have done a tremendous job holding the coronavirus levels low and keeping each other safe, and as final preparations take place to go remote for the remainder of the fall semester it is important to me that the exit testing guidance is being followed and those students testing positive will be cared for,” said Chancellor Malatras.

While visiting campus, Chancellor Malatras met with President Donald P. Christian, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, and Student Association President Haley Hershenson ’21 (Early Childhood & Childhood Education), among other members of our community. He also dropped by Awosting Hall to check in on the ongoing Test Before You Go COVID-19 testing.

“Today’s visit with students in person, as well as calls with students across SUNY campuses helps me make sure their needs are being met and that they feel confident about our reopening for the spring semester,” Chancellor Malatras said. “My thanks to President Christian, our students, County Executive Pat Ryan, and County Health Commissioner Carol Smith for their ongoing partnership.”

Student Association President Haley Hershenson ’21 speaks with SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and President Donald P. Christian, Friday, Nov. 20

The College projects that more than 3,500 students will have gotten an on-campus COVID-19 test during the six days of Test Before You Go Testing between Nov. 16 – 23.

“Our campus community has largely abided by the pledge to Protect New Paltz and committed to mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing and avoiding large gatherings,” said President Christian. “We also instituted robust testing and tracing thanks to our athletics staff, our Student Health Service, many employee and student volunteers, and our strong collaboration with the Ulster County Health Department. We appreciate the collaborative effort and support during these challenging times, including from County Executive Ryan, Chancellor Malatras, Governor Cuomo, and the New Paltz community. We believe that these same principles and practices will produce a safe and successful spring semester.”

An estimated 140,000 students are getting tested before going home for Thanksgiving across SUNY’s 64 campuses, and more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted at SUNY campuses to date, with a positivity rate of about 0.5%.

“This is a make or break moment for our county and our state, and SUNY’s innovative and proactive approach to testing will be critical in blunting the ongoing COVID resurgence,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. “I want to commend SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and President Don Christian for making the health and safety of students and faculty, and our entire community, their top priority. We must all do our part at this important moment and SUNY has risen to the occasion.”

More information about Chancellor Malatras’s visit to SUNY New Paltz, and about SUNY’s safety guidelines for spring 2021, is available via this link.