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Testing and Tracing

Surveillance (Asymptomatic) Testing

Free surveillance testing is available for students and employees who are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic), have not tested positive, and are not in quarantine or isolation.

  • All students and employees coming to campus for any reason must be tested each week through campus surveillance testing.
  • Testing is performed on campus at the Lee Hall Testing Center and the Syracuse Campus Testing Center (use these links for instructions and to schedule an appointment), then provided to Upstate Medical University for processing.
  • Testing at the Lee Hall Testing Center is by appointment only, with separate times for students and employees to be tested. 
  • SUNY Oswego uses highly reliable testing, pooled saliva tests developed by SUNY Upstate Medical University.
  • There is no cost to students or employees for pooled saliva testing.
  • A student's failure to comply with COVID testing requirements will result in disciplinary action, including immediate measures that will restrict one from participating in classes, as well as denied card access to residence halls and dining centers.
  • All students and employees who take a COVID-19 saliva test on campus after February, 1, 2021 (beginning of weekly surveillance testing) will receive an email from the campus within 2 to 5 days indicating their result if their pool is "presumed negative." All individuals in a positive pool will receive their individual result directly from SUNY Upstate, likely 3 to 6 days after testing.

Symptomatic Testing

COVID-19 symptoms include: a temperature >100.4 degrees, fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, headache, sore throat, muscle/joint aches, diarrhea, abdominal cramps or nausea, conjunctivitis (pink eye), or loss of taste or smell.

If you have symptoms

  • Residential students should remain in their residence room, off-campus students should not come to campus.
  • Contact Health Services at 315-312-4100, option 2 and nursing staff will monitor your symptoms and triage/test as needed.
  • PCR (nasal swab) tests are administered by Health Services' nursing staff.
  • Students who show symptoms and are tested at Health Services will be placed in precautionary quarantine

Off-campus Testing

  • Students may also, at their own choosing, visit a local urgent care center, but assume any and all out-of-pocket expenses in doing so.
  • Positive results are shared with the Oswego County Health Department and, when the student identifies as a SUNY Oswego student, with the SUNY Oswego Health Services Center.

Wastewater Testing

SUNY Oswego is currently performing wastewater testing to identify levels of the virus in main campus buildings, specifically (11) of our residence halls throughout the spring 2021 semester.

  • An initial test will be conducted upon students’ return to residence halls to establish a baseline reading, then tests will be conducted twice per week (22 tests weekly).
  • An additional test at the pump station is performed two times each week in coordination with the City of Oswego.

The goal is to monitor intensity and to produce a gross indicator of campus health. If a test result is a concern, additional tests further up the sanitary line will be performed for specific parts of the campus. SUNY Oswego will then concentrate health resources and behavioral interventions on areas of concern. Our wastewater testing partner is Quadrant Biosciences in Syracuse.

Contact Tracing

The goal of contact tracing is to identify, through a series of interviews, individuals who have had significant close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

  • SUNY Oswego through its Health Services department and Office of Human Resources works closely with local county health departments to provide support to tracing efforts.
  • Contact tracing is provided by local health departments where an employee or student lives.

How does Contact Tracing Work?

  • Local health departments perform case investigations and contact tracing of residents of their county who test positive for COVID-19.
  • The local health department contact tracers create a list of anyone who is considered a “close contact” to the positive tested person during the past two days.
  • According to health guidelines, a “close contact” is anyone who was within six feet of the positive tested person for a period of 10 minutes over a 24-hour period or more, starting two days before the onset of illness (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
  • Contact tracers will ask all positive-tested people specifically about their employment/workplace to help notify others about the positive case.


If you have more specific questions, please email us at [email protected] or call the COVID-19 hotline at 315-312-3333. The hotline is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm EST.