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Health

State Funding For Free COVID-19 Testing At IMMY Labs In Norman Set To Run Out

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The Norman City Council discusses concerns over state funding for free COVID-19 testing offered by IMMY Labs in Norman during a special session Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The state funding IMMY Labs in Norman received for free COVID-19 testing is set to run out Thursday. This comes as the need for testing is expected to increase in December since cases continue to surge, and people are preparing for the holidays.

IMMY Labs administered 32,000 COVID-19 tests the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Mayor Breea Clark said during a Norman City Council special session Tuesday. About $2 million is needed to provide free COVID-19 tests throughout December, with each test costing $135.

Clark said the Cleveland County Health Department won't be able to handle COVID-19 testing without the help of IMMY Labs.

“I plan to reach out to our partners at Cleveland County,” Clark said. “I’m sure they received some CARES Act funding. I don’t know what they’ve done with it, but I know that if we try and limit testing to just Norman, we’re going to get Moore, we’re going to get Noble, we’re going to get Chickasha and so this is an excellent opportunity for our county partners to help us cover these expenses with CARES funding.”

City Manager Darrel Pyle said he expressed concerns to IMMY Labs a month ago about state funding expiring, but they said more money was coming. IMMY Labs burnt through those additional state funds in four weeks.

For now, IMMY Labs does not expect to receive more state funding for free COVID-19 testing.

Councilmember Alison Petrone said Norman Regional Health System had expressed interest in partnering with the city to provide more affordable COVID-19 testing.

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