By Meghan Brink and Calvin Dimmig | November 1, 2021
The University’s weekly surveillance testing was used as a tool to track COVID-19 cases on campus, however, now that the student population is fully-vaccinated following the vaccine mandate, the university has started a new voluntary surveillance testing program.
The program was announced on Oct. 13 via the official UAlbany Instagram. It was introduced to help “give vaccinated students and employees peace of mind” according to the University’s website.
Participants in the voluntary program will be entered to win weekly $100 drawings and one final $500 drawing at the end of the fall semester. To be eligible to enter the final $500 drawing, participants must submit weekly tests from Oct. 18 through Dec. 6. Only students, faculty, and staff at UAlbany will be able to participate in the voluntary testing program and be eligible to win the cash prizes.
Interested students can get a testing kit on the Uptown Campus at the Campus Center Information Desk near Starbucks, on the Downtown Campus at the Dean’s Office for the School of Social Welfare, or the Dean’s Office for the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, or on the Health Sciences Campus at the Dean’s Officer for the School of Public Health.
Kits need to be registered online following pickup, which can be done on the university’s surveillance testing webpage. From there, participants will submit their weekly saliva sample based on an alphabetical schedule. There are test drop box locations all around campus.
If a positive test is detected, the participant will receive a phone call or an email from a university employee who will guide the student through the process of getting a PCR test and how to keep themselves and others around them safe. If a test is negative, the participant will not be notified.
“At a time when access to fast, accurate COVID-19 testing is at a premium, the UAlbany community is extremely lucky to have access to the University’s surveillance testing program,” said university spokesman Jordan Carleo-Evangelist. “It’s a great benefit to help keep those we care most about healthy, and we hope students will see that value and take advantage of it.”