Ohio State is taking steps to reduce the time it takes and the money it costs to test students and staff for COVID-19.
This month the university hopes to start processing test results in the Applied Microbiology Services Laboratory on campus as opposed to relying on a third-party contractor.
Currently, OSU is sending coronavirus tests to Vault Health in New Jersey, but reliance on the private company will be phased out. The goal is to have all tests processed locally by the start of spring semester in January.
“Working with Vault from the beginning allowed us to really understand what we needed to set up to do this on our own,” said Director of Corporate Business Development Christy Bertolo. She is part of Ohio State’s COVID-19 implementation team.
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Vault had both knowledge and infrastructure that Ohio State lacked at the beginning of the pandemic, so they were an important partner at the time. By building up both, the school will be able to lower the cost per test by around 85%, according to their press release.
Additionally, test results through Vault typically are available within 48 to 72 hours after a person is tested, while the on-campus lab will require only 24 to 48 hours.
Still another benefit of this move is that the Buckeye lab will require less saliva than those sent to Vault, so those being tested at the Jesse Owens North recreation center on Neil Ave. should be able to spend less time on the process than the 15 minutes they now average.
The university says they have conducted more than 120,000 tests since reopening campus in August.