COVID-19 surveillance testing of students to begin at SUNY Potsdam, to test half student body weekly

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POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — As college students have returned to classes on the SUNY Potsdam campus, the college has announced the launch of their comprehensive COVID-19 surveillance testing.

Starting on September 15, the university will partner with Upstate Medical University to provide a testing program for residential and local students. The partnership will provide ongoing pooled saliva testing.

SUNY Potsdam stated that by the end of the week, approximately 2,000 on-campus and local students within 15 miles of campus will complete this mandatory testing. The university plans to test half of the local student body each week.

“In order to maintain the low numbers of cases that we have seen here at SUNY Potsdam and in the North Country region more broadly, we have to remain vigilant,” stated SUNY Potsdam President Dr. Kristin G. Esterberg. “Utilizing the game-changing pooled saliva testing system pioneered by our SUNY colleagues at Upstate Medical, Potsdam is prepared to stop the spread by regularly testing all of our on-campus and local students.”

According to SUNY Potsdam, students will be grouped into “pools” based on those who already live with or in close proximity to each other, with the goal of making quarantine easier and simplifying the second round of testing.

Additionally, the university confirmed that any student who does not comply with the mandatory surveillance tests will be asked to return home and study virtually.

The pooled testing allows for students to self- administer tests using saliva swabs. The testing method allows for 10 to 25 individuals to be screened in one test.

The newly launched COVID-19 surveillance testing is in addition to the testing performed at the university’s Student Health Services for those that portray symptoms.

Live COVID-19 statistics and case details can be found on SUNY Potsdam’s website.

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