BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WROC) — Local SUNY schools are two weeks into the semester and COVID-19 cases are still very low. SUNY Brockport has three cases and SUNY Geneseo has four cases. Testing is a key part of the reopening plans, and it started at Brockport on Monday.
SUNY Brockport is doing pool testing, which means there are groups of students and their samples are put together to be tested. The college plans to test 500 students per week with this method.
Since it’s the first week, only 150 students were tested Monday morning. Cheryl Van Lare is the director of the Hazen Center for Integrated Care on campus and said pool testing is a good way to get asymptomatic students tested and look for campus trends.
“The focus is going to be on mostly our residential students and our athletes and then we’ll probably pan out to some of the clubs, different other sports, Greek life,” she said.
Stevie Rudak is the president of the club dance team and was tested on Monday, along with several of her teammates.
“You get a tube and it has liquid in it, you take the cotton swab, swab underneath your tongue 10 times, then screw the cotton swab into the liquid, shake it, then you give it to the guy,” Rudak said.
12-24 students are in one group and all their liquid samples are mixed together in one ‘pool’ to be tested. If the pool tests negative, that means each student within it is also negative. If a pool tests positive, each individual swab will be tested.
“If we get a positive pool what we’ll do is we’ll put that group into quarantine while we’re waiting for the individual test and that should take within 24 hours, but possibly 48 hours. The pool testing we’re hoping really helps us to see what we have going on on campus right now, knock on wood, our numbers are great,” said Van Lare.
The next round of groups will be tested on Thursday and the college will start testing 500 students per week beginning next week.
The college covers the testing, it doesn’t cost students any money.