IMMY Labs will receive an additional $5.8 million in federal CARES Act funding to ensure COVID-19 testing can continue through the holiday season, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said.
“As we enter the holiday season, we have been running an unprecedented number of COVID-19 tests for Oklahomans,” said state Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye. “We encouraged Oklahomans to get tested ahead of Thanksgiving, and we are confident that testing helped slow the spread and saved lives. We believe testing through the holiday season will be critical to keeping Oklahomans safe and healthy.”
Because funding was running out, IMMY Labs said they would not be able to complete COVID-19 testing after Friday.
The state health department said unlike many other states, Oklahoma has made a strong push for widespread testing, encouraging testing early and often for anyone who feared they had been exposed to COVID-19, whether they had symptoms or not.
Since Nov. 1, all COVID labs in Oklahoma have conducted more than 515,000 specimen tests, and IMMY alone, one of the state’s top labs, has conducted more than 56,000 specimen tests from more than 30 communities across Oklahoma, the state health department said.
“We are confident we will be able to continue testing at the levels needed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Oklahoma,” Dr. Frye said. “We urge Oklahomans to continue to get tested, especially if you plan to travel or gather with anyone outside of your household during the holiday season. We also ask that you continue to follow the three W’s — wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance — to further slow the spread of COVID-19.”