NYS opens COVID testing sites at campuses statewide
Brendan J. Lyons is reporting for the Times Union the University at Albany and nine other college campuses across New York will be transformed into coronavirus testing sites this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul said. The reopening of the University of Albany's testing site comes as New York and other states faced shortages of test kits and people were forced to wait over the holiday break to confirm whether they were positive for the virus. Hochul said the state has access to 37 million test kits, but that distributing those kits to school districts continues to be a priority. The other campuses where testing sites are scheduled to open this week are: Syracuse University, Buffalo State College, SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Oswego, Purchase College, SUNY Cortland, Binghamton University, Stony Brook University and the University at Buffalo. The mass-testing site at Syracuse University will be the first to open on January 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hochul's office said the other testing sites would open later in the week, but she did not offer details on what days they may begin testing or whether appointments are required. The number of positive confirmed cases dropped from roughly 90,000 to 51,000 on January 3, but the governor said that may have been a result of fewer individuals being tested over the weekend. Across the state, 21 hospitals have suspended elective surgeries due to bed capacity shortages, down from 32 hospitals previously. Hochul last week said she was extending for two weeks a mandate that requires private businesses and venues to impose a mask requirement or require proof of vaccination until at least February 1, when it will be reassessed. All SUNY and CUNY students eligible for booster shots must receive them by January 15. Read the full story in the Times Union.