COVID-19 Testing Update

COVID-19 Testing Update

September 15, 2020

Dear UAlbany Community, 

As a follow-up to Thursday’s message regarding the COVID-19 case spike among the University at Albany population, our current numbers are reflected on the University’s COVID-19 dashboard. Results shared over the weekend include: 

  • 24 positive cases among students living on-campus 

  • 41 positive cases among students living off-campus 

  • 0 positive cases among faculty and staff working on-campus 

Beginning the same day that the spike was reported by the Albany County Health Department, the University conducted rapid ‘surge’ pooled surveillance testing within our athlete community. By Friday morning, 389 student athletes, comprising >90 percent of athletes provided saliva specimens.  Among the specimens tested, 29 pools tested presumptive positive, suggesting at least 29 individuals were infected. All 58 individuals in these pools were immediately contacted, linked to further diagnostic testing services and entered quarantine. Any resulting positive diagnostic tests conducted at UAlbany's Student Health Center will be reflected on the dashboard. Continue to check this resource as numbers are updated daily. 

More than 90 percent of our students living on campus, 84 percent of our student-athletes and 25 percent of students living off-campus are participating in the pooled testing program. To show our appreciation, a $500 account credit will be awarded weekly to a randomly-chosen student.  

All students who are studying, working or visiting any of UAlbany’s campuses during the Fall 2020 semester — regardless of whether they live on or off campus — must participate. On-campus students understand that they may not remain on campus if they do not acquire a test kit, register it and participate in testing.  Now, starting this week, the University will notify off-campus students registered for any in-person class that if they have not acquired a test kit, registered it and participate in testing, their in-person class registration may either be moved to fully remote or they may be deregistered for that class.  We strongly encourage all off-campus students to participate in the pooled testing. 

As we continue to follow our plan to address cases of COVID-19 on our campuses, we must remember that we expected to see cases. Our campus alone cannot stop a global pandemic. What matters now is how we execute our plan to protect each other and the greater Albany community. We must behave responsibly, by following proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, and avoiding large gatherings. We also must participate in the University’s pooled testing program, quarantine as necessary and get diagnostically tested and then isolate as needed. 

Any students who wish to be tested for COVID-19 should contact Student Health Services at 518-442-5454, while concerned employees should contact the NYS test site on campus by calling 888-364-3065 to schedule an appointment. 

Let’s remind the world of our greatness and work together as a community to protect the health of those around us.  

Sincerely, 

Kevin Wilcox 

Associate Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance 

Campus COVID-19 Safety Officer