COVID-19 Pool Testing Added as Precaution for Fall Semester

Out of 101,196 COVID-19 tests administered on SUNY campuses, 755 have been positive, according to the SUNY COVID-19 tracker as of Sept. 25.

SUNY New Paltz students are now required to get tested on campus for COVID-19 at least twice this semester: once individually and once through pool testing.

Earlier this month, SUNY announced that they had enough testing capabilities to conduct pool testing on every SUNY campus. On Sept. 16, SUNY New Paltz announced their plans to participate in the pool testing, which began on Sept. 21.

Pool testing allows saliva samples from multiple people to be combined and tested as one sample. If that sample is negative, every individual who had saliva in that sample is deemed negative. If the sample comes back positive, those individuals would then need to be tested individually to see where the positive cases are.

Students were previously only required to be tested individually for COVID-19 on campus once during the fall semester, but are now also required to participate in the pool testing at least once.

According to a press release from SUNY New Paltz, around 400 to 500 students will participate in pool testing each week.

On Sept. 23, a SUNY press release assured that the individual saliva swab test used in SUNY pool testing has been granted “emergency use authorization” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will allow more labs to conduct these tests around the state.

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s been clear that testing is one of the most critical tools we have to slow the spread,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “The more you test, the more accurate a picture of the state’s cases you have.”  

As of Sept. 28, SUNY New Paltz has tested 1,732 students with a positive case rate of 0.8%. There are currently no active positive cases on campus, and only one student is in on-campus quarantine. 

Students will still follow the set schedule for individual testing, but should receive an email a week before they are required to participate in the pool testing. To register for on-campus pool testing, visit http://register.suny-covid.com/.

Rachel Muller
About Rachel Muller 37 Articles
Rachel Muller is a third-year journalism major with an international relations minor. This is her second semester on The Oracle and she was previously an assistant copy editor for news. She prefers writing news articles and articles about her travels.