Stony Brook students and faculty have been utilizing the campus’ quick, free saliva swab testing to stay clear of the Coronavirus before holiday break.
Although students will not be returning to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday, the university began implementing swab testing sites on three parts of campus for commuter students, residents and faculty.
Earlier this month, Marisa Bisiani, assistant vice president for student health, wellness, and prevention services issued a message to students concerning COVID testing and the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We are committed to maintaining the health and safety of our campus community,” she said. “This includes requiring COVID testing for students who, like you, live off-campus, but may come to campus for an in-person class, work on campus or visit campus facilities.”
In accordance with SUNY policy, all commuter students must complete a COVID test within the 10-day period prior to the start of the break.
“As many COVID cases are asymptomatic, meaning you can be infected, and unknowingly and unintentionally spread the disease to others, we want you to know your health status before Thanksgiving to help keep you and your family safe,” she added.
Faculty and students who are on campus from Nov. 9 through Nov. 20 must get tested. If a student will not be on campus at that time, they must fill out an exemption form online.
After scheduling an appointment online, students are able to visit the Student Activity Center, the Health Sciences Center Galleria and for East End students, at the Stony Brook Southampton campus’ student center. There they receive a mouth swab and safely hand it over to the workers for testing. Results come back two to five days after the swab.
“We get over 150 tests done a day,” said Elah Ginsberg, a sophomore on campus who works at the testing site. “Yesterday we have 300 come by.”
The need for quick testing on campus began early last month, with new requirements that faculty, staff and commuter students to get checked for the virus.
“All commuters have to get their cheeks swabbed,” Emily Lam, a senior volunteer at the site, said. “I think it’s way safer and ensures that they’re healthy when they come to campus.”
Patricia Indelicato, health administration coordinator on campus, said she loves that this opportunity is so easily available. “It’s great and it’s helping to keep the community safe.”
Lauren Crennan, who works at the university’s undergraduate college, said that although it’s required for her to get tested, she doesn’t mind doing it one bit.
“I’m happy that they’re doing it,” she said. “It gives me a peace of mind and it’s an easy two-minute walk from my office.”