Pooled Testing FAQs

This page is designed to provide the SUNY Poly community with answers to frequently asked questions regarding pooled testing. For specific information about pooled testing at SUNY Poly, including testing schedules and processes, visit the student testing page and the employee testing page. An important note: as federal, state, local, and SUNY health guidance changes due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY Poly’s rules will also evolve as the institution receives new guidance and/or regulations are promulgated. SUNY Poly reserves the right to change its policy in regards to these matters and will provide updates as needed on the SUNY Poly website.

I have previously tested positive for COVID-19. Do I have to participate in pooled testing?

Employees and students who have tested positive should contact the Wellness Center (students) or Human Resources (employees) and a member of that team will contact you regarding next steps. Confirmed positive individuals are typically exempted from testing for up to 90 days, though this may change with changes to federal or state guidance.

Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:15 AM

What if I forget to submit my sample on my scheduled day/week?

If testing is not completed according to the SUNY Poly scheduled testing days/weeks, you should submit your outside NAAT/PCR test results to HR@sunypoly.edu (employees) or to wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu (students). Antigen (at-home) tests may be accepted for 2022-2023 when NAAT/PCR tests are not readily available.

Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:24 AM

What if I am not on campus for an entire week but am required to test that week?

No one is expected to come to campus just to participate in testing. Upon return, begin testing in the next available round of testing as required.

Last Updated: Fri, September 16 2022 at 01:38 PM

What do I need to do prior to arriving for my testing appointment?

All students and employees must register their testing kit as soon as you receive it. Registration may be done once for all vials in a kit.  Each vial does not need to be registered as the vial number is the same for all vials in the kit.

Please note:

  • Do not eat, drink, gargle or brush your teeth in the 30 minutes before collecting your saliva sample.
Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:40 AM

What is pooled testing and why is it important?

Pooled testing is a form of COVID-19 surveillance testing in which participants collect saliva in a vial or swab their mouths to provide a sample. These saliva samples are then pooled together based on type of test and analysis of the samples is then performed at the University at Albany’s RNA Institute (vial test).

Pooled testing enables a number of students and employees to be tested at a time by combining their individual samples that they each provide. This saves testing resources, and adds an extra “layer” of knowledge so that those in a COVID-19 “requires further testing” pool can be further tested to help limit the potential spread of the virus. Testing is one component of SUNY Poly’s holistic set of protocols to foster health and safety.


Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:13 AM

What is the schedule for pooled testing?

Students: The schedule for student pooled testing can be found on the student testing page.

Employees: Pursuant to guidance from SUNY and the 2022-2023 Plan, following the expiration (on August 31, 2022) of the Memoranda of Understanding between SUNY and unions representing employees, employees will no longer be required to test on a regular basis. Testing will remain available and may be requested at specific intervals (e.g., return to campus).

Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:45 AM

How long will pooled testing continue for employees?

Pursuant to the Memoranda of Understanding between SUNY and unions representing employees, SUNY Polytechnic Institute will continue weekly surveillance testing through August 31, 2022, for all employees who are required to report in-person to campus to conduct some or all of their work obligation and who are not fully vaccinated/have not provided proof of vaccination. Those employees who have provided proof of full vaccination must test according to the testing schedule provided on the employee testing section of SUNY Poly’s webpages to monitor for potential breakthrough infections.

Employee testing for Fall 2022-Spring 2023 is not expected to be required, but will remain available to employees who wish to test. Additional test methods (e.g., antigen tests) may also be available to employees.

Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:46 AM

Which employees must take part in COVID-19 surveillance testing?

Mandatory testing agreements for faculty and staff represented by CSEA, NYSCOPBA, UUP, PBANYS, and PEF expire August 31, 2022.
Beginning September 1, 2022, employee testing will be optional except as required in specific circumstances (e.g., return to campus).
Until August 31, 2022, all active employees are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing unless exempted. You may be approved by Human Resources for an exemption for the following:

  • Vaccinated employees who submit proof of being fully vaccinated (two weeks after final dose) are able to be exempt from weekly testing. (Submit to hr@sunypoly.edu)
    • However, these employees must take part in surveillance testing starting the week of May 16.
  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90-days (testing is currently not required within the 90-days after positive diagnosis).
  • Your job is not performed on campus.
  • Not being on campus temporarily (vacations/sick leave etc.) you can be exempted for the week.
  • Mandatory testing agreements for faculty and staff represented by CSEA, NYSCOPBA, UUP, PBANYS, and PEF are extended through August 31, 2022.
Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:50 AM

How will employees be notified of their results?

If your pool sample comes back positive, you will be contacted by Human Resources for further guidance. As this is a pooled surveillance test, individuals are already presumed negative, therefore you will not be contacted if your pool is presumed negative.

Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:52 AM

How much does the pooled COVID-19 test cost? What am I expected to pay?

Students: SUNY Poly is paying for this health service; there is no out-of-pocket cost to students for pooled testing. If you are part of a presumed positive pool, further laboratory testing may be required and your private medical insurance will be billed. If a student does not have private medical insurance as required, the student will be charged accordingly by the laboratory conducting the testing.

Employees: SUNY Poly is paying for this health service; there is no out-of-pocket cost to employees for pooled testing. Employees who receive a presumed positive result and require additional testing may have to pay a fee or have their insurance billed.

Last Updated: Fri, July 08 2022 at 11:54 AM


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