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 and a member of that team will contact you regarding next steps. Confirmed positive individuals will be exempted from testing for up to 90 days.

Last Updated: Tue, August 17 2021 at 03:20 PM

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

  • Submit your outside PCR test results to HR@sunypoly.edu (employees) or to wellnesscenter@sunypoly.edu (students).
  • Employees who are found to be regularly not participating in our pooled testing program when they are on campus may be subject to disciplinary action. A first-time miss may be followed up on but not considered non-participation.
  • Please put a recurring reminder on your calendar to submit a sample.
Last Updated: Tue, August 17 2021 at 03:07 PM

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

No one is expected to come to campus just to participate in testing.

Last Updated: Tue, August 17 2021 at 03:05 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.
Please note:

  • Do not eat, drink, gargle or brush your teeth in the 30 minutes before collecting your saliva sample.
Last Updated: Wed, December 22 2021 at 12:29 PM

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) or at Upstate Medical University (swab 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: Mon, December 20 2021 at 11:12 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

How long will pooled testing continue for employees?

SUNY Polytechnic Institute will continue weekly surveillance testing through May 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 biweekly to monitor for potential breakthrough infections.

Last Updated: Mon, December 20 2021 at 11:13 AM

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

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

All active employees are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing unless exempted. You may be approved 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 biweekly testing starting the week of January 4/5.
  • Your job is not performed on campus.
  • Not being on campus temporarily (vacations/sick leave etc.) you can be exempted for the week.
  • The mandatory testing agreements were signed by CSEA, UUP, PEF, NYSCOPBA, and PBANYS to extend the agreement through December 2021. We anticipate the agreement and process will continue through the Spring 2022 semester.
Last Updated: Mon, December 20 2021 at 11:15 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 (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, August 17 2021 at 03:09 PM


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