Mobile testing for COVID-19 Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sanford Health is using a new mobile testing laboratory to get testing to high-risk populations. The mobile-testing unit is equipped with technologies to process COVID-19 tests on-site.

The mobile lab can be deployed to potential hot spots for faster results. Rochelle Odenbrett is the senior executive director for Sanford Laboratories. She says the whole process takes only two hours.

“With the goal of trying to identify the individuals that have COVID-19 so we can get them isolated and keep our individuals within those facilities healthier and get our workforce back in place for some of our manufacturing and our meatpacking plants,” Odenbrett said.

The first usage of the mobile laboratory is Friday at Sanford’s Worthington Clinic, where more than 100 local residents who work with the elderly population are being tested for COVID-19. 

“Testing and timely results are a huge part of the fight against COVID-19, and we’re glad to have this new advancement,” Odenbrett said.

The vehicle is self-sufficient. It has a generator that it uses for all its needs, so the only limitation to where the mobile lab can go is where it can park.

This on the road lab will go throughout Sanford’s coverage area. Odenbrett says she expects it to go through South Dakota, parts of North Dakota and Minnesota and even Nebraska and Iowa. Businesses work with Sanford to have the unit travel to the high-risk locations.

Odenbrett said their goal is to maintain healthy workforces in the community and this helps do that. She said that the mobile lab can help identify people who have COVID-19 faster. By doing so, it helps to protect the rest of the population because the individuals with the virus are able to self-isolate sooner.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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