The Oklahoma State Department of Health has the capacity to process 100 COVID-19 tests each day. Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma has now brought online the capacity for 360 daily tests. DLO’s daily tests are being utilized for Priority 1 testing as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services. These guidelines prioritize testing with a focus on hospital inpatients and symptomatic healthcare workers to maintain the integrity of our healthcare systems. DLO continues to ramp up additional testing resources to meet the demand of the state’s healthcare needs.
A collaboration between Oklahoma Christian University Dean of Natural and Health Science Jeff McCormack, Ph.D., HCLD (ABB) and DLO made getting ahead of Oklahoma’s testing needs possible. Only labs that are considered high complexity laboratories are qualified to develop and offer COVID-19 testing. The Transplant Immunology Laboratory at DLO met the stringent specifications, and McCormack’s board certification as a high complexity laboratory director created the right mix.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to any entity for COVID-19 diagnostic devices on March 16. McCormack was ready to take action.
“I had reached out to DLO a few days before the emergency use authorization was updated,” said McCormack. “We had begun evaluating the FDA approved testing and developed a strategy. The need is dire and the policy update allowed us to accelerate the strategy to make a significant difference in meeting that need.”
McCormack and the DLO team have been working 18-hour-days to make the tests possible. The DLO team met daily to purchase supplies, which are in short supply, and develop procedures. McCormack kept lines of communication open with the FDA to ensure the lab was in compliance.
The team began validation of the CDC testing Friday, March 27, and stretched into the early morning hours of Sunday, March 29. McCormack reviewed the test results, approved them and samples began arriving immediately. DLO’s testing capacity will continue to expand to meet the need.
Oklahoma Christian University is a higher learning community transforming lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service. Located at 2501 East Memorial Road on a 200-acre residential campus, the university believes excellence in education demands forward thinking, nimble creativity and a yearning to serve others.
DLO is Oklahoma’s trusted medical laboratory with more than 50 locations throughout the state, the most of any lab provider in Oklahoma. DLO is in-network with all major insurance providers, offering Oklahoman’s the most convenience and access to quality lab testing.