SUNY has issued new guidance requiring campuses to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing for every in-person member of their population during the spring 2021 semester.
This SUNY mandate requires all students, faculty and staff who are on campus for any reason to be tested each week they are present this spring.
“We understand that we are asking a lot of our community to be tested every week,” said President Donald P. Christian. “We are trying to help students and employees understand that it is a privilege to have access to COVID-19 testing, when many people in many communities and states cannot access tests easily.”
What This Means for Students
SUNY is requiring all students who are on campus for any reason to be tested each week they are present this spring, according to the schedule below. This applies to those who live, work or take classes on campus, as well as those who come to campus for other reasons. For example, if you come to the Athletic & Wellness Center, a computer lab or the Library, you would need to test that week.
Students are not mandated to test for weeks they are not physically on campus, but testing is still highly advised to protect the greater New Paltz community.
Consequences for a lack of compliance may include card access denial, suspension from all in-person campus access, and other judicial sanctions.
Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are exempt from testing for 90 days after their positive COVID-19 test. Student Health Service must have a positive test result on file to be exempt. If you tested off campus be sure that you have submitted your positive test result to email@example.com. Only PCR test results will be accepted; rapid antigen tests are less accurate and do not meet SUNY’s screening requirements.
Students who have been vaccinated are NOT exempt from testing.
What This Means for Employees
SUNY also requires faculty and staff who are on campus for any reason to test each week they are present this spring, per the schedule below, as COVID-19 testing agreements between SUNY and employee bargaining units stipulate that employee testing will be done at the same frequency as student testing.
Employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are exempt from testing for 90 days after their positive COVID-19 test. Those who have been vaccinated are NOT exempt from testing. Employees with questions about this testing requirement should contact the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When This Mandate Takes Effect
The weekly testing requirement will begin Monday, Feb. 8. Until that time, members of our community must comply with the “return to campus” policy, which stipulates that students, staff and faculty be tested three days before or within five days after their first time on campus this semester.
Those who have had a consistent presence on campus over the winter break should test at least once between Jan. 8 and Feb. 5.
Instructions for Testing – Please Read Carefully!
The Monday – Thursday pool testing schedule (see below) has been designed to balance the demand on the testing center and minimize wait times. We have assigned students’ testing days based on their major, and employees based on their bargaining unit, as outlined in the table below.
Monday – Thursday pool testing will be provided on a walk-in basis; no appointments are necessary, but registration through SUNY Upstate is required and must be updated with each test.
If you are unable to test on your assigned day, we strongly encourage you to use the Enzo Labs testing make-up option on Friday. Please see below for more information about Enzo Labs testing.
If you are unable to test on your assigned day or on Fridays, we ask that you test as early as possible (preferably before 10 a.m.) on another day. Peak usage occurs later in the day and wait times will be exacerbated by a lack of adherence to the schedule.
Paid Opportunity for Student Workers
At New Paltz, our in-person population is estimated at about 4,400 students, faculty and staff this semester. Testing everyone each week requires us to increase our testing capacity by about five times what it was in fall 2020, when we tested about 20% of our campus population each week.
To scale our efforts to handle this quantity of testing, we can no longer operate fully on a volunteer basis. Acting Testing Coordinator Keith Kenney is coordinating a team of student workers comprised of new hires and existing student employees who have additional capacity.
Students who are interested in paid positions at our on-campus testing facility, and supervisors who can spare student employees for three or more hours a week, should contact Kenney at email@example.com for more info.
Spring Pool Testing Schedule
Pool Testing is available Monday – Thursday every week (Individual testing is available on Fridays; see below). All testing takes place in Awosting Hall, entering through the west (pond) entrance.
9 – 10 a.m. is for faculty and staff ONLY.
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. is for students, faculty and staff.
No appointments are needed for Pool Testing, but registration with SUNY Upstate is required. Those with existing accounts must update their registration with each test.
Symptomatic individuals should NOT participate in pool testing. Students who are symptomatic should contact the Student Health Service for testing information, and employees should contact the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion.
|Day of week||Students to be tested||Employees to be tested|
|Monday||School of Education majors
School of Fine & Performing Arts majors
|Tuesday||School of Business majors
Undeclared & Non-matriculated
|Wednesday||School of Science & Engineering majors
|Thursday||All other College of Liberal Arts & Sciences majors||PBA, PEF, NYSCOPBA, M/C, CAS, RF and all other campus employees|
Friday Make-Up Days
Individual on-campus PCR testing is available on Fridays through our partner, Enzo Labs, and will also take place in our Awosting Hall testing site. Please note that appointments are required for Friday testing (faculty and staff should enter the letter “E”, then their employee ID number, where the scheduling form asks for student ID). Enzo testing uses anterior nasal collection, a less invasive method than nasal swabs that were used earlier in the pandemic.
When and How Will I Be Notified of My Results?
Results from pool and Enzo testing are expected within 3 days of testing. Members of our community who test positive or are members of a positive pool will be notified as soon as we receive results.
Anyone who is in a positive pool will also be notified by email from SUNY Upstate Medical University, and will receive instructions on how to set up a portal to access their test results directly. This will be in addition to notification by our Student Health Service.
Those who gets a test through Enzo Labs can also learn their results through their patient portal. Information on setting up a portal will be emailed to you when your appointment is confirmed.
Students and employees can also satisfy the weekly testing requirement via off-campus testing. Only PCR test results will be accepted; rapid antigen tests are less accurate and do not meet SUNY’s screening requirements.
A list of testing sites in Ulster County can be found here. Please note that demand for testing in the community is very high and it may be difficult to find off-campus testing if you are asymptomatic and have no known exposure.
Students should send off-campus test results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employees should send off-campus test results to email@example.com.
For more information about testing see the Student Health Service COVID-19 information site.
For details about our plan for spring 2021, please visit our New Paltz Forward website.
On-campus COVID-19 testing scheduled for Jan. 19 – Feb. 5 will proceed as originally announced, to accommodate start-of-semester requirements. These new testing protocols will take effect on Monday, Feb. 8.