New SUNY Chancellor, familiar face to New Yorkers, visits Upstate’s COVID-19 testing labs

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On his second day on the job, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras visited the coronavirus testing labs at Upstate Medical University.

Malatras, known to New Yorkers from his frequent appearances at the governor’s coronavirus briefings before his promotion at SUNY, is overseeing the testing across the state’s campuses.

Researchers at Upstate Medical University have developed a groundbreaking test that detects coronavirus in saliva. Samples from 12 people are grouped together and tested as a batch.

Only positive pools require the members to be individually tested, which meant a classic nasal swab until Tuesday.

The chancellor announced the New York State Department of Health has approved Upstate’s saliva test to be used as a diagnostic, individual test. For now, that means if a pool comes back positive, the same swabs will be tested individually.

Once the FDA approves it, the test could replace the uncomfortable nasal swab in many cases.


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