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SUNY releases spring semester COVID-19 plan

By Paul Cifonelli / Editor-in-Chief

The State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras’ plan for the spring semester was given in a press release on SUNY’s website today. Malatras’ plan includes mandatory COVID-19 testing when students return to campus, moving the start date of in-person classes to Feb. 1, 2021, cancelling spring break system-wide and mandatory mask-wearing even when social distancing is possible.

“With COVID-19 surging nationwide, and with increased cases in New York, SUNY has devised a comprehensive plan to keep this virus at bay throughout the flu season and through the spring semester,” Malatras said, according to the press release. “We’ve demonstrated this past fall that by implementing an aggressive strategy to manage COVID, students can safely return to campus. These additional efforts—testing all students upon return, ongoing testing throughout the semester, pushing out the start of the spring semester, and mandatory masks at all times, coupled with uniform enforcement and compliance—illustrates that SUNY is setting a nationwide standard for controlling COVID-19 in the weeks and months to come. I have talked with countless students since August who have made tremendous sacrifices so that they can stay on campus and learn. Our students have done a remarkable job given the circumstances. This aggressive strategy gives us the best chance to return our students once again to classrooms in early 2021. But as we know, this is a fluid situation so we will continue to adapt and be flexible as issues emerge.”

For more information, go to

The COVID-19 testing is mandatory for any student planning on using campus facilities such as dormitories, the library, the gym or the dining halls. Before any of these facilities can be used by a student, they must quarantine for seven days before returning to campus. In addition to the testing, all students are required to submit to daily surveillance.

According to the press release, the starting date for in-person classes was pushed back to avoid other complications from the flu season. Spring break was cancelled to prevent travel, but midweek reading days can be scheduled to halt instruction for a day. However, travel is strongly discouraged on those days.

To read the whole press release, you can find it here.

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