SUNY Chancellor Malatras recently mandated that each SUNY campus must conduct surveillance testing for SARS-CoV-2 (more commonly known as COVID-19) in our student populations. SUNY Sullivan’s testing program will use non-invasive salvia testing collected from a mouth swab and then sent to SUNY Upstate Medical University for laboratory evaluation. Each SUNY Sullivan student who is physically on campus or in clinical this semester will be tested every two weeks.
What is Surveillance Testing? Surveillance testing is a program that tests groups if students, whether they are symptomatic or not, to identify any who are positive for SARS-CoV-2. SUNY Sullivan’s testing program will require students to place a swab in their mouth for 15 seconds. It is non-invasive and not painful. There will be no need to undress, and students will work with our campus health care providers.
What is Pool Testing? Groups of tests will be pooled together to check for the existence of SARS-CoV-2 in the sample. If the test comes back positive, then the individual samples will be tested to identify the positive individual or individuals. This allows the testing lab to process large numbers of samples quickly.
What if My Sample is Positive? If you are part of a pool that tests positive then Sullivan County Public Health and SUNY Sullivan’s Health Office will be notified. SUNY Sullivan’s nurse will contact you to ask you to self-quarantine while individual samples are tested, and Sullivan County Public Health will conduct contact tracing. SUNY Sullivan will protect your confidentiality during this process.
Who will Administer the Test? A team including two of SUNY Sullivan’s registered nurses and a member of our support staff will be responsible for administering the test. Tests are administered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in either the Health Science office or the E Building.
How will I know When to be Tested? The college will conduct the first series of tests on October 13th and 14th. Students will receive an email from the college asking them to sign up for an appointment using the confidential scheduling tool SignUp Genius.
What if I Can’t Make Those Dates? The college hopes to test all required students on these two days, but the following Tuesday and Wednesday will be available for scheduling conflicts. Unfortunately, given the huge increase in statewide testing, we cannot test on other days of the week.
I Work for SUNY Sullivan, can I be Tested? Yes, and you will be able to sign up using SignUp Genius.
Is there a Cost? While the SUNY Upstate software will collect your health insurance information, there will be no out of pocket cost.
What Else do I need to Know? Individuals will need to pre-register and arrive with a valid ID – a driver license is preferred. The test itself should not take long, so completing the pre-registration will keep your time commitment to a minimum. Individuals who have not completed the pre-registration process should expect longer wait times. If you have a smart phone please bring it to your appointment.
What Happens Next? SUNY Sullivan’s testing team will be conducting training and setting up appointments. Students should look for an email with the subject SULLIVAN FORWARD.