Campus Update on Surveillance "Pool" Testing

Date Posted:

Fredonia’s June 2020 testing plan included surveillance testing (i.e., pool testing) as a mechanism to serve as an early warning system to assist with prevention and spread management of COVID-19. The initial launch of the plan has focused on surveillance testing for students. Key components of the original plan are highlighted below:

  • In an effort to focus prevention activities and target potential areas of concern, SUNY Fredonia has already implemented a testing protocol using a surveillance tool for COVID-19 provided by SUNY Upstate Medical University.
  • Fredonia conducts pool tests of representative random samples of students at the 95+% confidence level regarding the presence of SARS-COV-2 in saliva samples.
  • A random sample of residential and non-residential students will be conducted every other week (unless there seems to be a major increase in "events" - at which time the samples will be conducted more frequently).
  • The testing for students will be coordinated and administered through the Fredonia Student Health Center in coordination with SUNY Upstate Medical University.

To-date: SUNY Fredonia has run two pool tests, one on 8/26 with 75 student-participants and one on 09/07 with 64 student-participants, with only 1 student-participant testing positive (total from both tests).

Per SUNY’s September 4, 2020 guidance for Surveillance Testing of COVID-19 on College Campuses, SUNY Fredonia will increase surveillance testing and begin to conduct pool testing on a weekly rather than a bi-weekly basis. This will significantly increase our random student testing capacity in both frequency and number of students tested.

Students who have been randomly selected through stratified random sampling are expected to participate in the pool testing in order to remain in good standing as a student: 

  • If a student is an on-campus student and fails to present for testing, they will lose their privileges to live in the Residence Halls and attend any on-campus activities including classes.
  • If a student is an off-campus student and fails to present for testing, they will lose their privileges to attend on-campus classes and activities.

The Student Health Center staff will continue to conduct event testing (PCR) for students. The Student Health Center works in coordination with Brooks Memorial Hospital to provide PCR testing for COVID-19 for students who present with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Specimens are couriered to the local lab at Brooks Memorial Hospital and results are shared with the Student Health Center. Students are then notified of their results by the Student Health Center. 

Students will continue to be tested if symptomatic, as determined by the Student Health Center. The Student Health Center works in coordination with Brooks Memorial Hospital to provide PCR testing for COVID-19 for students who present with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.The Student Health Center keeps track of metrics, makes determinations related to testing, serves as triage for students, and makes referrals when necessary.

Faculty/Staff Testing: Employees have access to COVID testing through their medical provider and local testing sites in Chautauqua County. The campus is exploring offering on-site testing options in the upcoming weeks. 

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