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Oklahoma State Department Of Health Announces Plan To Ramp Up COVID-19 Testing

JC Gellidon

Any Oklahoman looking for a COVID-19 test recently can tell you the search is tough, but it’s about to get a little easier.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is announcing a plan to ramp up COVID-19 testing as we head into the fall.

The department is renewing its contract with IMMY labs for testing sites across the state. Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed says the program isn’t up and running quite yet, but residents can keep an eye on the lab’s scheduling portal online. They’ll also be moving more toward rapid tests and away from once-standard PCR tests.

"We're definitely seeing a shift towards looking for that rapid turnaround, almost immediate response. So that's one reason we're trying to increase that capacity in county health departments across the state," said Reed.

The Biden Administration announced earlier this month its own testing investments. That includes a partnership with major retailers Walmart and Amazon for discounted at-home tests, and a program to send rapid tests to food banks and community health centers.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Catherine Sweeney grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma State University. She has covered local, state and federal government for outlets in Oklahoma, Colorado and Washington, D.C.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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