Call for volunteers to support on-campus COVID-19 testing from Jan. 19 – Feb. 4

On-campus pool testing at SUNY New Paltz was a true community effort in fall 2020, and the College will again invite faculty and staff to help facilitate pool testing at Awosting Hall from Tuesday, Jan. 19, through Thursday, Feb. 4.

Please use this link to see available shifts and sign up.

Last semester we relied on dozens of volunteers, including some who worked as many as 40 shifts, with no recorded incidents of COVID-19 transmission traceable to our testing facility.

We thank all volunteers who participated in the fall, and all who consider contributing their time and energy to help ensure the success of this vital initiative this spring.

Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s guidance in the state’s Vaccine Administration Plan, those who volunteer at testing sites are eligible to schedule a vaccination appointment under Phase 1a. The Governor has noted repeatedly that vaccine supply remains limited at the federal level, and those who are eligible should be prepared for their appointment to be scheduled as far as 14 weeks in the future.

Volunteer shifts will be organized much as they were last semester. 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.

Volunteer shifts will be two or three hours long during regular work hours. Employees should discuss their plans with their supervisors to ensure that volunteering does not disrupt other duties.

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

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.