NYMC > Departments > Administrative Departments > Health Services > COVID-19 > SARS-Co-V2 Surveillance

SARS-Co-V2 Surveillance

Through the efforts of faculty and student volunteers from our public health program in the School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College (NYMC) conducts SARS-CoV2 surveillance saliva screenings in a randomized sample of 200, drawn from the population of students, faculty and staff, who are frequently present on the Valhalla campus.

Participation in this screening is mandatory and free-of-charge for those randomly selected.

Persons randomly selected will be asked for a small saliva specimen (not nasal swab) that will be pooled with other specimens, shipped to a nearby laboratory and screened for SARS-CoV2 using a molecular PCR test. A smaller group of persons identified in PCR-positive pools may be recalled for individual diagnostic testing by nasal swab.


SARS-CoV2 infection continues to affect communities across the world.  Asymptomatic infection is common. The screening program is intended to detect an increase in SARS-CoV2 infections at NYMC, should it occur.  This screening program is an adjunct to the cases we are aware of through the regular reporting of cases and exposures to the NYMC Health Services.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. To detect an increase in SARS-CoV2 infections, if it occurs, among our students, faculty and staff, while they continue to come to campus.

  2. You were randomly selected from a list of persons who are often present on campus.

  3. When you receive the email notification that you have been randomly selected, you will receive details regarding where to go (on campus) and at what times.

  4. Once you arrive to the screening location, the entire process should take no more than ten minutes. There will be staff at each location to assist and guide you throughout the process. Giving saliva is extremely easy.

  5. Positive results are reported to the individual by email using the email given at registration. A positive test from the saliva screening is a true positive test result of SARS-CoV-2 infection and requires isolation and you are to notify your contacts of their exposure to you. The letter you receive will detail the requirements for isolation and notification of contacts in accordance with current campus policies. Exposure is defined a person you were with:

    • During the 48 hours before testing
    • During the 48 hours before testing AND
    • Within 6 Feet AND
    • For at least 15 minutes.

Exemption Criteria

  • This testing program is for asymptomatic individuals only. 
  • Individuals with a disability that would physically preclude them from having the test done. Individuals with a sincerely held religious belief preventing the testing.
  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days prior to selection.
  • Individuals who are in quarantine awaiting results of a diagnostic test
  • Individuals who are unable to get to the testing facility due to sickness other than COVID symptoms will be excused.
  • Participating in the testing program is mandatory for all members of the campus community. 
    • Students, employees and contractors who refuse to participate for a reason other than an approved exemption will be subject to disciplinary action.