Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing Ramps Up At OSU’s Lab

Wednesday, April 1st 2020, 1:14 pm
By: Hunter McKee

Oklahoma State University health experts started testing coronavirus (COVID-19) cases last week but it’s ramping up, meaning more tests and faster results.

With coronavirus positive cases in the state continuing to climb, more testing is essential.

“If the more testing we’re doing, the more we can identify cases, the more that we can isolate individuals and prevent the spread,” said Dr. Kayse Shrum, president for OSU Center for Health Sciences.

The lab is currently accepting clinical samples for diagnostic testing. They accept the samples from health care labs and facilities only. Currently, they are testing and reporting results within 24 hours of receiving the samples.

“The quicker we can get those tests back, the quicker the doctor knows what’s going on, the quicker the family knows what’s going on,” said Shrum.

The lab has five testing machines and said three more have already been ordered. 

Officials said they have 10,000 tests on hand and an additional 3,000 are being shipped Wednesday.

“In a pandemic, the most important thing we can do is test and know where those positive cases are so we can begin to control the pandemic,” said Shrum.

If needed, additional staff and shifts will be brought in for more testing. The lab has the ability to run over 1,000 samples per day.

“We were doing testing but we were having to send it out of state and this is an example of how Oklahomans can take care of Oklahomans and get tests turned around more quickly,” said Shrum.