ALBANY (TNS) — The State University of New York will continue its mandatory COVID-19 testing into the fall for unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff.

Weekly screenings will be required for unvaccinated people, but even those fully vaccinated may be subject to baseline testing ahead of the fall semester or in the event of a surge in COVID-19 rates, according to a SUNY press release.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras recently announced extended testing agreements with five unions representing campus officers, staff, and faculty. The agreements are effective through Dec. 31.

Any increase in testing for fully vaccinated employees will be determined at the campus level, after consultation with local union representatives. All testing will be conducted during regular work hours.

"The vaccine is our greatest weapon against COVID-19 and it has allowed us to fully reopen our campuses. However, until every individual is vaccinated, testing remains a critical piece of managing COVID," Malatras said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced earlier this year that all students in the 64-campus system would be required to get the shots, but the mandate is contingent on full federal Food and Drug Administration approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. Until then, vaccinated students will be able to opt out from weekly testing, SUNY officials said.

Regular testing was a key strategy during the spring semester for detecting emerging cases of COVID-19 on SUNY campuses.

Since August, SUNY has conducted nearly 2.5 million COVID-19 tests with a positivity rate of 0.39 percent.


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