UB, Buff State increasing COVID-19 testing

Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 17:47:09-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As the collegiate school year has begun, two of Western New York's largest colleges are increasing testing to make sure students are safe.

The University at Buffalo announced they would be conducting "Surveillance Testing" for staff and students. The surveillance testing will be random and will be done using saliva, according to UB.

"We're going to randomly select 279 individuals and then do group saliva testing and in this manor we will get a sense of how many of these individuals had an asymptomatic infection that would not have otherwise been recognized" Thomas Russo, Professor and Chief at UB said.

UB is hoping this will give a better picture on exactly how they are doing in the fight against the coronavirus. The testing is optional but strongly encouraged.

"One of multiple tools that will determine how well we are doing here at the University at Buffalo," Russo said.

Starting today, SUNY Buffalo State will be conducting larger scale testing for students that are often in groups.

"Bringing groups that live on the same floor, are in pods, on sports teams, and see if there is a positive," Buff State VP of Student Affairs Timothy Gordon said, "We would isolate and start to follow those particular cases and start to do tracing and other things you need to do to isolate and contain that."

This comes as Buff State has dealt with multiple positive tests from students that commute from off-campus. The school says disciplinary actions can be taken if students are holding parties during this time. Those actions can come from the school and the city.

"The consequences of that can be up to a $1,500 fine," Gordon said, "So what we want folks (to do) is to take care of each other, but there are other ways to make sure we are following those guidelines and protocols to keep everyone safe."