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.

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

All students and employees must fill out the testing app prior to coming to take part in pooled testing at https://www.suny-covid-test.com/. Please note:

  • Within the three hours before the test, you cannot brush your teeth or use mouthwash.
  • Within 30 minutes before the test you cannot eat or drink anything, including mints, gum, or lozenges.
  • Within 30 minutes before the test you cannot smoke or use smokeless tobacco products or e-cigarettes.
Last Updated: Wed, September 30 2020 at 09:55 AM

What is pooled testing and why is it important?

Pooled testing is a form of COVID-19 surveillance testing. During pooled testing, participants at the testing site will perform a self-swab to collect a saliva sample. Individual saliva samples are then pooled together and analysis of the samples is then performed at Upstate Medical University.

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: Wed, September 30 2020 at 10:18 AM

What is the schedule for pooled testing?

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

Employees: The schedule for employee testing can be found on the employee testing page.

Last Updated: Wed, January 27 2021 at 05:04 PM

What if I cannot make it to the pooled COVID-19 testing time/location that pertains to me?

Students: If you are unable to take part in the pooled testing options being provided free of cost to Utica campus students, you will need to submit proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) PCR (or TMA) test result from no earlier than the Sunday for the week for which you need a test, and no later than the Friday of that week of testing. (please see specific dates, listed on the student testing page). Meaning, the test results were normal and showed the virus was not detected. The test must be a PCR or TMA test; antibody and antigen tests will not be accepted (see below for information about scheduling a test). You are not allowed on campus without completing the testing requirement. If, due to a holiday, you cannot attend a scheduled testing time, please attend the following day’s testing.  

Proof of a negative test MUST be submitted to the Wellness Center by fax at 315-792-7371 or by email at WellnessCenter@sunypoly.edu.

Employees: If you are unable to take part in the pooled testing options being provided free of cost to UUP-, CSEA-, and PEF-represented employees, you will need to submit proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) PCR (or TMA) test result. The negative test must be dated no earlier than the Sunday for the week for which you need a test, and no later than the Friday of that week of testing. The test must be a PCR or TMA test; antibody and antigen tests will not be accepted (see below for information about scheduling a test). You are not allowed on campus without completing the testing requirement. For those on the Utica campus, if, due to a holiday, you cannot attend a scheduled testing time, please attend the following day’s testing.

Proof of a negative test MUST be submitted to Human Resources by emailing results to Audra Cornelius at cornelal@sunypoly.edu.

All students and employees can visit the New York State Department of Health’s website to find a nearby test site. Students and employees are responsible for arranging for testing and paying associated costs, if applicable. If you go to a test site run by New York State, there is never any charge for your test. Students and employees living in New York State may also contact the New York State COVID-19 hotline to schedule a test by calling 1-888-364-3065.

To meet testing requirements and in lieu of campus pooled testing, you are encouraged to participate in Project Baseline testing, a free, individualized, community-based drive-through PCR testing process in which you fill out the intake form online, schedule a drive-through test at Rite Aids located throughout the region, and then receive test results which you can then submit as indicated above. Obtaining a community-based PCR test through Project Baseline is fast, free, and provides the autonomy and convenience of meeting the testing requirements according to your personal schedule.

Last Updated: Fri, April 30 2021 at 04:25 PM

How long will pooled testing continue for employees?

SUNY Polytechnic Institute will continue surveillance testing through June for all employees who are required to report in-person to campus to conduct some or all of their work obligation.

Last Updated: Fri, April 30 2021 at 04:33 PM

What do I put on my daily COVID-19 screening when responding to the question about awaiting pooled testing results?

Participating in the pool testing program does not require you to respond ‘yes’ to any of the questions. Please respond as you otherwise would.

Last Updated: Tue, September 29 2020 at 05:38 PM

What if I do not own a smart phone?

Please use a personal computer or tablet to complete the registration process in advance of the testing appointment. When you arrive for the assigned testing appointment, please inform one of the staff on site that you do not have a smart phone in your possession. We will assist you with the rest of the process at the testing site.

Last Updated: Tue, September 29 2020 at 05:38 PM

When registering for an account on the testing app, there is a field for “Institution ID.” What is this?

Your Institution ID is your U#.

Last Updated: Tue, September 29 2020 at 05:38 PM

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 (i.e., asymptomatic, no proximate contact with COVID positive individuals, no travel to states with mandatory quarantine, etc.), therefore you will not be contacted if your pool is presumed negative.

Last Updated: Tue, September 29 2020 at 04:50 PM

What is reflex testing and when will it be completed?

Should a student be part of a "presumed positive” pool result, they will be able to receive individual test results from the sample they already provided. This streamlined approach, called “reflex” testing, means that results of individual tests can be provided to students approximately 24 hours after the pooled testing result, rather than having to take part in a separate follow up test, which usually takes longer and would mean more time spent in precautionary quarantine awaiting the results.

Last Updated: Tue, September 29 2020 at 05:37 PM

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