For Release: March 20, 2020 – Jamie Dukes, Office of Communications (405) 271-5601
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today announced it has entered into a new public-private partnership with Diagnostic Laboratory of Oklahoma (DLO) to increase the State of Oklahoma’s capacity for delivering results for COVID-19 tests. As a result of the new partnership, more than 300 test specimens were immediately shipped yesterday to DLO’s facility in Dallas, Texas, for results within the next couple days.
“The Oklahoma State Department of Health appreciates the strengthened partnership with DLO to send COVID-19 test kits to its facilities in Dallas for rapid results,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “The state is committed to expanding testing and result capacity by building out more public-private partnerships here at home and across the United States. Thanks to action taken at the federal level, we are expecting more supplies to come online in the coming days to support our efforts."
The state’s partnership with DLO will allow current demand for COVID-19 test results to be met within a two- to three-day time frame. The Public Health Laboratory will continue to prioritize its limited in-house supply for delivering results within 24-hours for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations are identified as follows:
Where a cluster of individuals are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as a nursing home.
Individuals who are age 60 or older
Children or adults who have compromised immune systems
“As this new public-private lab partnership expands Oklahoma’s capacity to deliver timely results, it will allow the OSDH, county health departments, hospitals, health care providers and others begin pursuing innovative options for increasing access to COVID-19 testing,” Cox said.