Two SUNY employees test positive for Covid

Two employees at SUNY New Paltz have tested positive for Covid-19, according to data posted to an online university dashboard. Those are the first employees to test positive this semester. There is also one active student case and three students in quarantine.

University communications director Melissa Kaczmarek would not disclose if the affected employees are faculty or not, “to protect their privacy.”

Since August 24, 4,011 tests have been administered and 16 students have been identified as carrying the virus, in addition to the two employees. Kaczmarek said that this comes at a cost of $15 per test (not including shipping), or about $9,000 per week. That’s for pool testing specifically; other forms of testing can usually be covered by insurance. Testing, personal protective equipment and other pandemic-related protocols are being funded from university cash balances.

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The positive rate on campus remains low, as it does in the surrounding area. Kaczmarek attributes this to “our community’s vigilance in adhering to campus protocols,” including the wearing of masks, maintaining of social distance and the washing of hands.

Should there reach 100 cases on campus, or New Paltz becomes a designated orange or red zone according to the new cluster approach to managing the disease, then all classes will be taught remotely for at least two weeks.