ALBANY — Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Friday new guidelines for students returning to SUNY or CUNY campuses for the spring semester.
Under the new guidelines, students would be required to have a COVID-19 booster shot and take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus.
These new measures supplement the already required universal indoor masking and social distancing guidelines for students and faculty unvaccinated at SUNY and CUNY schools.
Additionally, Hochul said each campus would be required to develop and communicate an ongoing testing plan to monitor for positive cases throughout the semester. All staff will be required to receive a vaccination against COVID-19 as well.
“We need to ensure students in New York are able to stay in school and learn in person throughout the spring semester,” Hochul said in a statement. “Students deserve to have a safe and high quality in-person college experience.”
These announcements come amid heightened concerns statewide regarding COVID-19 and its spread. According to the state Department of Health (DOH), the state’s percentage of positive COVID-19 tests on Monday reached 23.17 percent, representing 51,698 of 223,153 tests reporting positive COVID-19 results.
Oswego County has seen increased caseloads as well. The DOH reported that of all the tests conducted in Oswego County on Monday, 190 additional cases among residents in Oswego County were reported.
“With these new measures, students will be able to stay on campus and in their classes. SUNY and CUNY have already done an extraordinary job at fighting the pandemic, with COVID-19 rates much lower than the general population, and it's time to take the next step to keep everyone safe,” the governor said.
Combating the so-called “winter surge” has been a priority for health leaders in recent weeks, with Hochul taking measures to open new testing centers throughout the state to address the increased need for testing capabilities.
“Let’s celebrate the first day of school in 2022 by ensuring we are taking the proper precautions to keep them open through the rest of the year,” Hochul said Monday. “We know how to overcome this winter surge. Get the vaccine, get the booster, mask up, get tested and stay home if you’re feeling sick. If we don’t use these tools, many more in our communities will get sick.”
Announced on Monday by Hochul, the state highlighted several SUNY campuses and universities throughout the state planning to open public testing sites in the coming days.
The universities include: Syracuse University, Binghamton University, SUNY Plattsburgh Community Testing Site, SUNY Cortland, University of Buffalo, Buffalo State College, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Albany, SUNY Stony Brook and SUNY Purchase.
“We are getting creative in our approach to make testing easier for New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “With testing now available at SUNY campuses and Syracuse University, we are expanding access across the state to make sure that we limit the spread of COVID-19. Get tested, wear a mask, and get your vaccine, second dose, and booster to keep yourself and your community safe as we get through this winter surge.”
When contacted on Monday, SUNY Oswego leaders said information related to the logistics of the how the public testing site will operate would be released in the coming days.