By Kevin Gelabert | March 7, 2021
ALBANY- With the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic on campus and across the country, there’s a few things to expect if you receive a positive test result from pooled surveillance testing or have been in close contact with someone who has.
Students living on campus are required to take part in pooled surveillance testing, where they submit a saliva sample once a week for the entire semester. If a student tests positive or is a close contact of a positive student, they will be contacted by the university and escorted to the school’s designated isolation housing, which is on Liberty Terrace.
According to the school’s website, there are hundreds of rooms set aside for quarantining students who test positive. At the time of this reporting, there were 129 students in isolation, accounting for 35.1% of the school’s available isolation housing.
Liberty Terrace took on the role of isolation housing last November, while it had previously been located at CrestHill Suites on Washington Avenue.
“The logistics of getting food and Res-Life staff across Washington Avenue were way more complicated,” said University Spokesperson Jordan Carleo-Evangelist. “It became clear to us that it would be much easier to have students in spaces that we control for maintenance reasons.”
Carleo-Evangelist added that the school’s contract with CrestHill Suites was scheduled to end this November.
The process of being escorted into isolation will occur quickly. “It all happened really fast,” said UAlbany junior Sam Rikshpun, who tested positive in September. “After they call you, you’re relocated within hours. It was very efficient.”
Students are required to remain in isolation for at least 10 days and must receive approval from the Albany County Department of Health to be released. Students in quarantine have three meals delivered to their rooms each day from 3-5 p.m. Each meal package contains that night's dinner, as well as breakfast and lunch for the next day and extra water bottles.
Every room comes equipped with a refrigerator and microwave so students can prepare the prepackaged meals. Meal plans in isolation can also be customized to accommodate students with allergies and dietary restrictions.
However, meal delivery is not the only service provided to ensure that students don’t need to leave during the quarantine period; trash is picked up daily at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and every room also has internet access and a television.