OSU Diagnostic Laboratory Processes 100,000th COVID-19 TestWed, 26 Aug 2020 13:14:55 CDT
Oklahoma State University’s contribution to the fight against COVID-19 has reached a milestone. As of Thursday, Aug. 13, the OSU diagnostic laboratory processed its 100,000th COVID-19 test in less than five months.
The accomplishment represents heroic effort and early partnerships that made the testing possible.
“Service to Oklahoma is a hallmark of Oklahoma State University’s land-grant mission and we’ve proudly supported our state's battle against COVID-19,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “We reach this milestone thanks to the tireless work of our health experts, researchers and volunteers who quickly responded and established effective testing.”
In March, as the race to identify COVID-19 cases grew to a global emergency, Oklahoma State did what might have been impossible in other circumstances. Thanks to partnerships involving OSU-Stillwater, OSU Medicine, and the College of Veterinary Medicine’s animal diagnostic laboratory, OSU had the facilities, the equipment and the certifications to begin testing specimens for COVID-19.
OSU doubled Oklahoma’s testing capacity in a matter of days, dramatically increasing the ability of state leaders to forecast future conditions and make educated decisions. As other labs have come online, OSU’s 100,000 tests completed is equivalent to approximately 15 percent of the total tests statewide.
"I am incredibly proud of the role that OSU played in meeting the testing needs of Oklahomans during the greatest public health crisis of our time,” said Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of the OSU Center for Health Sciences and the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “We leveraged resources from every corner of our university — at our medical school, veterinary school, and research office — to create a human disease diagnostic laboratory within the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (OADDL). Because of the tireless efforts of the men and women of OSU, our fellow Oklahomans can access COVID-19 testing and get their results back rapidly, results that will help them make better-informed health decisions. I’ve never been more proud to be a Cowboy.”
Dr. Carlos Risco, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, agrees.
“Achieving this milestone is the result of an extraordinary team effort from all,” he said. “I am particularly grateful to the OADDL staff for their significant contributions to meet the testing needs in Oklahoma.”
As the first tests were run on April 1, OSU leaders relied heavily on the Cowboy spirit. A flood of volunteers from undergraduates to faculty members fulfilled the needs of running the lab from a specimen courier service to lab personnel who finished up their day jobs and took over processing tests on the second shift.
Since then the lab has made steps toward sustainability. For as long as Oklahoma needs COVID-19 tests processed, OSU plans to provide the service.
“From the technicians in the lab to the staff who have handled logistics, reporting and hiring, this has been a true team effort,” said Kenneth Sewell, OSU vice president for research. “As much as we’d like to celebrate, we know there is much more to do as we continue helping Oklahoma cope with the pandemic.”
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