Two employees, seated at table, registering a colleague for screening

Bengals Helping Bengals: Volunteers Needed to Help with COVID-19 Pool Testing


As Buffalo State College continues surveillance testing of its on-campus population to detect COVID-19 cases, faculty and staff volunteers are needed to help facilitate the testing for students, faculty, and staff. No medical knowledge or experience is required, just a willingness to help out.

Regular surveillance testing is being done on campus in accordance with a September 3 directive from SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras. The testing is an effort to detect COVID-19 cases and identify pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals who may still transmit the virus. 

“This testing will give our leadership and local health officials the ability to identify, trace, and contain the virus quickly,” said Michael J. Lewis, director of events management.

Buffalo State is required to conduct pool testing of students, faculty, and staff members in order to stay open and serve students. An endeavor of this size requires the help of faculty and staff volunteers.

“The campus has always come together during difficult times, and this is no different,” Lewis said. “We need volunteers to help keep our campus community safe, and I have no doubt that our amazing faculty and staff will step up. It’s the Buffalo State way.”

“The campus has always come together during difficult times, and this is no different. We need volunteers to help keep our campus community safe.”

- Michael J. Lewis, Director of Events Management

Volunteer roles (PDF, 104 KB) are simple and safe. They involve checking in students and employees and organizing and distributing test kits. Volunteers are needed for about 80 shifts a week, in order to conduct the tests successfully. Along with training to ensure a safe and consistent process, volunteers are also provided with personal protective equipment including masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.

Shifts take place in the Campbell Student Union and are two hours long. Any employees considering volunteering should first discuss it with their supervisors in order to properly maintain their work duties. 

Faculty and staff members interested in volunteering to help with the testing should register in advance.

“Thank you to everyone who has volunteered and allowed us to conduct this testing and keep campus a safe place for our students, faculty, and staff,” Lewis said. “Again, it’s important that we’re successful in conducting these tests. Please consider volunteering if you are able to.”

Photos by Bruce Fox, campus photographer.