Gov. Hochul says ‘Heck yes’ to using CNY college campuses for testing

Coronavirus

(WSYR-TV) — Governor Kathy Hochul says the winter surge in COVID-19 cases they had been predicting for so long is finally here. Now, they’re working to ramp up testing options as demand soars.  

Hochul updating the state on their covid response efforts this morning. There are 51,000 new positives reported, which Hochul says is a lower number because of the holiday weekend and fewer people getting tested. She warns the numbers will jump back up again Tuesday. 

As Hochul focuses on keeping kids in school, a big component is testing. The state has already shipped millions of at-home COVID-19 tests to school districts, but Hochul says they’re working on offering more options.  

She says she has Syracuse University to thank for their latest idea to expand testing. 

“Students at college campuses are not at school right now, but they were testing before they left on campus. They had facilities; they had the infrastructure set up for testing. This actually came to us from Syracuse University, and I want to thank Chancellor Kent Syverud for approaching us and saying ‘We have a plan. We tested 4,000 students a day on our campus. Those students are not here. They’re not coming back for a little while. Do you want to use our facilities?’ And the answer was heck yes. Heck yes, of course we do. And then I thought, okay we got one campus here. What about every other SUNY campus?” 

So, starting Tuesday, testing at SU will be open to the public. It’ll be held in the dome from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and staffed by the National Guard.  

“I am proud that Syracuse University is able to support and partner with our state and community by opening our doors and sharing our testing capabilities,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “I want to acknowledge and extend my gratitude to our public health team and all the individuals who have contributed to building our testing infrastructure. Because of their work, Syracuse University is poised to once again step up and support our broader community.”

Syracuse University says their testing is a PCR surveillance test and available to asymptomatic individuals. It’s important to note, this test is not a diagnostic test.

Any positive surveillance test result will need to be confirmed with a diagnostic test at an external provider. Individuals experiencing COVID-like symptoms should not visit the Stadium; instead, they should contact their health care provider or visit a local urgent care facility.

Individuals who plan to test at the Stadium Testing Center, be advised:

  • No appointments are necessary; simply visit the testing center at a time that is convenient for you during operating hours.
  • Parking is available at the Raynor Avenue Lot and Irving Garage; handicap accessible parking is available in the Quad Lot. A parking lot map can be accessed by visiting https://parking.syr.edu/visitors-to-campus/campus-maps/.
  • Enter the Stadium through Gate N.
  • Do not eat, chew gum, drink, use mouthwash, or use any tobacco products for 30 minutes before testing.
  • Deposit enough saliva to reach the line marked on the tube.
  • Only deposit saliva into the tube (no mucus or phlegm)!
  • Hydrate well earlier in the day to prevent dry mouth.
  • Masks must be worn at all times, except when actively depositing the test sample. Surgical masks will be available at the Stadium.
  • Individuals will receive test results via email. Individuals who receive a positive surveillance result should contact their health care provider for guidance and to seek out a diagnostic test to confirm their status. They should also contact the State COVID Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to report their COVID status. More information can be found by visiting https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.
  • Individuals who have tested positive in the last 90 days should not participate in this surveillance testing.

SUNY Oswego and SUNY Cortland will also be holding testing on their campuses as well. It’s all free and open to anyone looking for a test.  

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