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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Mandatory Surveillance Testing & Free Flu Vaccine Clinics

September 11, 2020

Dear Students,

SUNY Potsdam is committed to the health and safety of our campus community. In accordance with SUNY and New York State policies, we will be conducting surveillance testing throughout the remainder of the semester.

In addition to COVID-19 testing (see details of testing below) Student Health Services will also offer free influenza (flu) vaccines for students, while supplies last. We will hold clinics on Wednesday, September 16 and Thursday, September 17.

What kind of test is being administered?
Partnering with Upstate Medical University, we will now be utilizing a pooled saliva test. The pooled testing allows for 10 to 25 people to be screened in one test. You will administer the saliva swab test yourself, and no nasal swab is required. If a “pool” tests positive, Upstate can immediately test the individual samples in that pool to determine who is positive and needs to isolate. To understand what to expect during the pool testing process, a brief video is available online.

Who is required to be tested?
COVID-19 testing is mandatory for residential students, non-residential students who live within a 15-mile radius, or any student who has a reason to be on campus. If you do not comply with testing, you will be asked to return home and study virtually, in order to protect the health of the campus community.

When will the testing be conducted?
We will hold our first round of COVID-19 testing next week, from September 15 to 18. We will test all students who meet the above criteria. After that week, we will randomly test 50% of on-campus/local students each week.

When will I be tested?
Appointment times for the first round of tests will be emailed to you on Monday, September 14 at 4:30 p.m. Due to the number of students being tested, appointment times cannot be adjusted. Faculty have been notified that the testing protocol may interfere with class attendance.

What do I need to do to be tested?

  • You must arrive to Maxcy Hall (at the ramp entrance, closest to the Townhouses).
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • You must bring a smartphone or tablet device with you. If you do not have access to one, we will have a limited number of devices available.
  • Make sure to have your student ID number (P#) with you.
  • Please maintain 6 feet of distance between others and wear your mask.

What shouldn’t I do before my test?

  • No toothbrushing or mouthwash (within 3 hours before): You should not have brushed your teeth or used mouthwash within the past 3 hours before reporting for your test.
  • No eating or drinking (within 30 minutes before): You must not eat or drink anything, including chewing gum, mints or lozenges, for 30 minutes prior to your test.
  • No smoking/vaping (within 30 minutes before): You must abstain from smoking, vaping or using smokeless tobacco products for 30 minutes prior to the test.

Thank you for your cooperation and participation in this important process aimed at supporting the health and safety of our campus and community. If you have any questions regarding the surveillance testing, please contact Nicole Conant, Chief of Staff, by email at

Let’s all work together to keep our campus open.


Tracy Harcourt
Student Health Services