Chancellor Malatras Visits Campus to Unveil Pooled Surveillance Testing

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 1, 2020) – Recently named State University of New York Chancellor and three-time UAlbany alum Jim Malatras joined President Rodríguez on campus last Wednesday to discuss COVID-19 safety precautions and announce the launch of pooled surveillance testing.

Developed by The RNA Institute in partnership with the School of Public Health, pooled surveillance testing will allow UAlbany to test 5,000 people per week — greatly expanding campus testing capacity. The simple and non-invasive test measures the presence of the virus using a saliva sample.

Testing is mandatory for all students living on campus or taking on-campus courses. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to participate. Test kits are being assembled outdoors under tents by teams of campus volunteers and distributed at a central location on campus. Asymptomatic students, faculty and staff will be tested in pools of four.

"We must take every precaution to contain COVID-19 and by accelerating pooled surveillance testing created by UAlbany's world renowned RNA Institute, they will be able to identify, trace, isolate and treat those cases much faster, helping the campus reopen safely during this unprecedented time," said Malatras.

“UAlbany's significant academic and research expertise has been leveraged throughout the pandemic — and this is another example of that impact, led by our RNA Institute and School of Public Health, with support from every division across campus," said Rodríguez. "It was a great pleasure to host Chancellor Malatras — a three-time UAlbany alumnus — and we deeply appreciate SUNY's support for our efforts as we continue to navigate COVID-19."

Malatras received his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in political science from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and is the first SUNY grad to lead the 64-campus institution. Wednesday’s visit to UAlbany marked the chancellor's third campus visit in four days and is part of his campus reopening tour.

Photos: Patrick Dodson

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