TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences is bringing COVID-19 testing to college campuses to help those schools prepare for summer and fall classes.
OSU-CHS will provide COVID-19 testing at Oklahoma A&M Regents branch campuses and affiliated colleges, according to an OSU news release.
“Testing is knowledge,” said Johnny Stephens, Pharm.D., OSU-CHS Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President. “OSU Medicine is dedicated to bringing answers to our university and governing administrators to get a clearer picture of the status of the virus in these communities where students will be heading back to school. First, we want to provide staff and students with the care they need. Secondly, we want to capture the testing data needed to make the best decisions in managing the virus’ impact in the coming months.”
The mobile COVID-19 testing teams are set to be at Connors State College in Muskogee and Warner in late May. Both schools are starting in-person summer classes.
OSU Medicine is scheduling mobile testing for OSU branch campuses in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Okmulgee.
Other OSU affiliated colleges are expected to schedule mobile testing centers in June and July. Those colleges including the following: OSU-Oklahoma City, OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Guymon, NEO A&M College in Miami and Langston University.
The COVID-19 test that will be administered at the campuses is a “simple and easy” mouth swab test that will be processed at OSU-CHS, accordingto the news release.
University officials say they have the capability to test 500 people a day, but anticipate testing only 150 people a day.
OSU Medicine’s Tulsa laboratories will generate campus test results, and that work will not interfere with the progress of tests being processed in other Oklahoma labs, according to the news release.
“Testing data is crucial for future management of COVID-19,” Stephens said. “Testing tells us where the virus is, how it is moving and if it is accelerating or declining. The more data points we gather from testing the clearer the picture of our current COVID-19 status. We anticipate repeating testing in late summer as well to keep our decision-making nimble and up-to-date.”