Alfred University News

Alfred University continues student testing for COVID-19

COVID-19 testing continues this week at Alfred University, where sample testing of 120 non-resident students last week yielded no positive results. This week, the University will test 504 additional students.


ALFRED, NY – COVID-19 testing continues this week at Alfred University, where sample testing of 120 non-resident students last week yielded no positive results. This week, the University will test 504 additional students.

Testing last Friday was conducted ahead of students returning to campus for in-person classes on Monday. The 120 non-residential students, who live in the village of Alfred or immediate surrounding area, took part in pooled, saliva-based testing. Samples were sent to SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where results of the initial tests came back negative.

With pooled testing, groups of 12 students submit saliva samples, which are sent to labs at SUNY Upstate Medical Center for analysis. If the test comes back negative, it indicates all 12 students in that particular pool are presumed negative. If a pooled sample comes back positive, each student in the pool is tested individually to determine which pool member or members are positive. Students comprising a pool that has tested positive are quarantined pending the results of their individual follow-up tests.

A combination of resident and non-resident students—252 today (Wednesday, Sept. 9) and Friday, Sept. 11—will participate in pooled testing this week. Results of today’s testing will likely be returned by Friday; the University should receive results from Friday’s testing on Monday, Sept. 14.

Pool testing of both non-resident and resident students will continue next week and, if necessary, the week of Sept. 21, until all students have been tested. Once all students have been tested, the University will continue throughout the Fall semester with weekly surveillance testing on random selections of students.

Del Rey Honeycutt, director of the Wellness Center at Alfred University, said the University’s testing procedures follow guidance provided by SUNY Upstate Medical Center. Honeycutt said she is pleased with how the initial testing has proceeded.

“Thus far, our planning and implementation of the testing days has gone very well,” she said. “With that said, none of this would have been possible if it we didn’t have a fantastic team, which includes ITS and facilities personnel, and volunteers from the various offices in the Division of Student Affairs, including graduate assistants, to work the positions needed to have the process go smoothly.”

Mark Zupan, Alfred University president, stressed the need for all in the University community—students, staff, and faculty—to continue following safe practices aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID. They include following social distancing guidelines, wearing a mask or face covering, and practicing good personal hygiene.

“We are pleased to have had no positive results from Friday’s initial round of testing, but by no means is this a signal to take down our guard,” Zupan remarked, noting that health officials’ best interpretation of a negative test result is that the individual involved did not have COVID-19 seven days prior to being tested.

“Based on what we have seen on other campuses, it is easy to go from zero or a small number of cases to a much larger number that can cause a university or college to either revert to online instruction for a two-week pause period or for the remainder of the Fall semester,” Zupan said. “It is imperative we remain diligent in our efforts to promote a safe and healthy environment on our campus and in the local community.”

To view updated results of COVID-19 testing at Alfred University, visit the University’s COVID-19 Dashboard.