Volunteers needed: Help make on-campus pool testing a success

SUNY New Paltz is seeking faculty and staff volunteers to help facilitate the mandatory COVID-19 pool testing of students that is beginning on Sept. 24.

Volunteers will primarily assist with checking students in and distributing and organizing testing kits. No medical knowledge or experience is required. Specific details about volunteer roles can be found below.

All volunteers will be provided personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and sanitizer. Trainings will also be provided to ensure a consistent process.

Those who are interested in volunteering to support this on-campus testing can sign up using this link.

Volunteer shifts will be three or four hours long and will take place between 8:45 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on days testing is being provided. Employees should discuss their plans with their supervisors to ensure that volunteering does not disrupt other work duties.

With the addition of COVID-19 pool testing to existing individual testing, the College projects to test more than 700 students per week through the end of the fall semester. This testing is vital to ensuring our ability to respond safely and effectively to positive cases within our community, and we thank all who consider volunteering their time to support this work.

If you have questions about pool test volunteering or would like more information, please contact Keith Kenney, assistant director of athletics, wellness & recreation, at kenneyk@newpaltz.edu.


Pool testing volunteer roles: Greeter

  • Student approaches Greeter station holding student ID and mobile device. If they do not have ID or device, Greeter asks student to leave and return with both.
  • Greeter asks the student if they are currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms; if yes, the Greeter instructs the student to stop and report to the Student Health Center for further evaluation.
  • Greeter asks the student to verify that they have not eaten, drank, brushed teeth, smoked or used other prohibited substances. If the student cannot verify this, they are asked to exit and return in an hour.
  • Greeter checks to make sure the student has completed their profile in the COVID-19 SUNY Surveillance App. If the Greeter cannot verify this, they ask the student to step aside and register before entering.
  • When prompted, student puts ID away and approaches Attendant #1.

Pool testing volunteer roles: Attendant #1

  • Upon arriving at the assigned collection station, students use hand sanitizer.
  • Student launches their COVID-19 Surveillance Account using their mobile device.
  • The Attendant hands the student the saliva swab collection kit and asks the student not to open it yet.
  • Student scans the saliva collection kit barcode with their phone, linking their test to their account. Barcode entry should be completed while the collection kit is still packaged.
  • Attendant #1 verifies the student has entered the correct barcode, and prompts the student to move to Attendant #2

Pool testing volunteer roles: Attendant #2

  • Attendant #2 provides instructions for opening the collection kit packaging and collecting the sample.
  • The student carefully opens the packaging and collects saliva from mouth for 10-15 seconds.
  • Attendant #2 instructs the student to close the tube tightly and shake it vigorously to mix the sample with the stabilizing reagent.
  • If collection is successful, student hands tube to Attendant #2.
  • Using the student’s ID as reference, Attendant #2 writes the student’s full name and date of birth (DOB) on the tube, taking care not to write on the pre-printed barcode.
  • After writing the student’s information on the collection tube, Attendant #2 should confirm the student’s ID was entered correctly into the registration. Any incorrect IDs must be corrected by the student before proceeding.
  • Attendant 2 adds collection tube to Collection Rack and directs the student to exit.