Employee Testing FAQs

Published date
5:27 p.m.
News Type

Dear faculty and staff members,

Since announcing the college’s employee testing plan on Tuesday, some frequently asked questions have arisen. While we recognize more might come up, here are some answers to what we have been asked so far:

  1. Do I have to participate?
    1. Yes, please. Agreements by both UUP and CSEA have committed all those employees they represent to participating in college testing plans. Other employees are also asked and expected to participate.
  2. Is there any cost to participate?
    1. The college is covering all costs associated with testing. The pooled saliva testing is free to employees and students.
  3. Why do you need my insurance?
    1. SUNY Upstate now has the ability to perform a reflex, diagnostic test on an individual swab if the pool tests positive. Upstate will bill insurance only for the diagnostic test. If the insurance company does not pay for the test, the college will pay the cost. There will not be a charge to an employee or student. There will not be a copay or deductible billed to an employee or student.
  4. When registering for the testing program, what information do I need to have ready?
    1. Tech Services has provided this walkthrough, which shows you all the fields you need to complete.
  5. What is the institutional ID?
    1. This is your M number, which can be found on your ID card.
  6. What is my insurance information?
    1. This depends on who provides your insurance. For many employees, this is the Empire Plan. If you have are an Empire Plan subscriber, the information is as follows:
      • Address: PO Box 1600, Kingston, NY  12402-1600
      • Phone: 1.877.769.7447.
      • Subscriber number: above your name on your card
      • Group number: 0004791 (found on the bottom left corner of the insurance card)
  7. Do I need to have a smartphone with me at the time of my testing?
    1. It is easier and saves time when individuals bring their own devices with them to testing sites. However, there will be a computer available on-site for employees to log in and access their registration profiles if they do not have a device to bring with them.
  8. If I have been tested elsewhere, such as for a medical procedure, do I still need to participate in the scheduled testing?
    1. You must present a negative test result at least every four weeks. Our testing plan is scheduled to accommodate this. You can provide your negative test results from elsewhere to HR to verify whether you need to participate otherwise.
  9. If I am tested for cause, such as after an elevated wastewater detection in a building where I was present, do I also have to participate in the regularly scheduled surveillance testing?
    1. Yes. For-cause testing is designed to address specific situations, while surveillance testing is designed to monitor the ongoing status of the campus as a whole.
  10. How will I know the results of my testing, or if I need to take further action?
    1. Results of your test will be emailed directly to you from the lab. This is part of the reason for the registration process. Additionally, the campus will be informed. This applies to both a positive pool (grouped tests) and any reflex (retesting of the individual samples in a positive pool). If your individual test is positive, the county health department will be informed and provide instructions for isolation.

Thank you for your compliance in our testing program, as well as properly wearing masks over mouths and noses while keeping proper physical distance. If you have COVID-19-related questions or concerns, please use our online form.