Oklahoma State University in Stillwater is working with OSU Medicine in Tulsa to fight COVID-19.
OSU's certified diagnostic laboratory was already set up to identify diseases and detect outbreaks in animals, but now conducts human testing thanks to a partnership with OSU Medicine.
Dr. Kenneth Sewell, Oklahoma State Vice President for Research, says just 12 days after the decision was made to set up the COVID-19 lab, OSU technicians processed the first 53 specimens.
"Not only we had the equipment on site, but we also had the expertise to operate it and a supply chain for the materials to be able to, at least, initiate our testing process," Sewell said.
He said the lab will soon reach around-the-clock functionality, analyzing around 2,000 specimens a day and getting answers to patients within 24 to 48 hours after testing.
More importantly, he says the lab has the potential to map the spread of the disease to better help state officials understand the outbreak hot spots for COVID-19.
Health care providers looking to submit samples for testing can find instructions and the necessary forms here.