GW partners with Air Force to conduct COVID-19 testing for Department of Defense

Media Credit: File Photo by Lillian Bautista | Senior Photo Editor

Curative, Inc., a COVID-19 testing startup, will use a laboratory in the Milken Institute School of Public Health to process the tests.

GW’s partnership with a startup company and the U.S. Air Force will be able to process tens of thousands of coronavirus tests to the Department of Defense, officials said.

University President Thomas LeBlanc said Friday he expects that the team will be able to administer between 30,000 and 50,000 tests a day starting this week for the Department of Defense through a scaling test methodology. Curative, Inc., a COVID-19 testing startup, will use a laboratory in the Milken Institute School of Public Health to process the tests, according to a public health school release.

“We are proud to be a part of this partnership to launch testing of U.S. military personnel for the virus that causes COVID-19,” LeBlanc said in the release. “Our BSL-2 laboratory offers a secure environment in order to process the tests, which will offer valuable information in the fight against this virus.”

The company has tested more than 100,000 people for COVID-19 and is currently processing 6,000 daily tests for Los Angeles residents, according to the release. The testing is conducted through an oral swab test, the release states.

“We will not make progress toward bringing our economy back online until we have comprehensive testing across the United States, and that means we need easy-to-administer, highly scalable tests now,” Fred Turner, the CEO of Curative, said in the release.

Roughly 275,000 tests have been conducted on average daily during the past week across the United States, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

“For over two years, we’ve been accelerating our government purchasing system to work with innovative tech startups who need fast decisions and cash,” Will Roper, the Air Force’s acquisitions czar, said in an Air Force release last month. “We had the right innovation network in place to find this potentially game-changing test and strike a deal at wartime speeds. Our men and women in uniform, and our nation, need a highly-scalable coronavirus test.”

An Air Force spokesperson did not return a request for comment.

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