SUNY chancellor praises Rockland Community College in its management of COVID-19 cases

Big praise is coming from the SUNY chancellor as Rockland County Community College continues to lead the pack in its handling of the coroanavirus on campus.

News 12 Staff

Oct 25, 2020, 4:35 PM

Updated 1,328 days ago

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Big praise is coming from the SUNY chancellor as Rockland County Community College continues to lead the pack in its handling of the coroanavirus on campus.
It's been a difficult year for some SUNY schools, with Cortlandt on pause, Plattsburgh now being the latest campus with a cluster and Oneonta closed for the fall after a surge of over 700 cases.
"Oneonta being that warning sign and wakeup call for everybody. Well, wait a minute, that two cases can become 700 cases that we have to take extra precautions," said Chancellor Jim Malatras on Friday.
It's those extra precautions that brought Malatras to Rockland Community College. Since March, the campus has seen less than a dozen cases of COVID-19: one since reopening this fall and 10% of students on campus.
Even now, the college falls in the yellow zone of new restrictions set by the state, and instead of testing 20% of students, they're testing them all.
"Since last week, we have conducted over 500 tests, and each result we've received back has been negative," said President Michael Baston.
SUNY-wide, Malatras said they've conducted 250,000 tests this fall, of which only 0.5% have returned positive. But he's still cracking down to prevent more outbreaks like the ones that happened upstate.
"We've put in place uniform compliance. They call me 'the chancellor of no fun.' I put out this really tough guidance document. You violate a code of conduct on your campus, or if you violate a health code, because this is a health code violation, there are penalties. Suspensions, expulsions, those types of things, because in the end, they're adults. They're students, but they're adults," Malatras said.


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