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University to Expand COVID-19 Testing Capacity, President McInnis Announces

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Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis toured campus with SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on Thursday, September 24, announcing that Stony Brook will expand its weekly student testing capacity by partnering with SUNY Upstate Medical University to launch pooled surveillance testing for COVID-19.

In a press conference held on campus, Chancellor Malatras said he wanted to visit Stony Brook “especially because I want to highlight shining examples of campuses that are doing it well.”

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SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras with Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis

“Right here in New York, right here on Long Island, you’re seeing a perfect example of how it’s done right,” he said.

By adding testing for commuter students taking classes on campus to the weekly testing already in place for resident students, a total of 5,200 students will be tested each week, allowing the University to enhance monitoring, pinpoint the presence of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, prevent outbreaks and remain open through this unprecedented time. Pooled surveillance testing will begin Monday.

“Stony Brook’s current COVID-19 case count remains low as a result of its successful surveillance testing and strong compliance with public health guidance, and is adding to their testing capacity by proactively implementing Upstate Medical’s in-house pooled surveillance testing program, which allows us to more quickly detect the presence of the virus and respond with increased urgency and precision,” Chancellor Malatras said. 

Malatras had the opportunity to observe Stony Brook students and praised their commitment to staying safe.

“I think the students have done a phenomenal job of staying engaged, doing the right thing,” he said. “You see people complying, they’re wearing their face masks, they’re socially distancing, they’re sitting apart when they’re studying. They want to be here and we want to keep them here.”

“Routine surveillance testing, strict safety enforcement and data transparency make up our three-pronged approach for batting back the virus — a strategy that’s been successful at the vast majority of campuses thus far. I commend Stony Brook President McInnis for embracing and adding this proven testing regimen,” Malatras said.

Malatras met with President McInnis and her leadership team, faculty and students to review the impact of consistent testing and applauded the compliance of students following COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“The entire Stony Brook community is grateful for the Chancellor’s and Governor’s leadership, enabling us to substantially increase our weekly testing for students,” McInnis said.

“I’m pleased that Chancellor Malatras had the opportunity to recognize members of the University community, especially our students, for their responsible action and compliance with public health guidance,” she said. “The campus remains safely open, five weeks into the semester, thanks to their commitment.”

“As SBU goes, so goes Suffolk County,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. “During a time of great crisis, we saw just how crucial this place is to all of us in this region.”

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