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Local university donates COVID-19 test kits

Texas A&M-Central Texas has donated 110 COVID-19 test kits assembled by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station to Bell County officials for use in local hospitals and clinics. (University photo)
Texas A&M-Central Texas has donated 110 COVID-19 test kits assembled by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station to Bell County officials for use in local hospitals and clinics. (University photo)(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 4:37 PM CDT
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Texas A&M-Central Texas has donated 110 COVID-19 test kits assembled by the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station to Bell County officials for use in local hospitals and clinics.

The kits were assembled at the university’s four diagnostic labs around the state using supplies usually reserved for pigs, cows and chickens.

“No one has ever done this before, but tough times call for creative measures,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

The kids include a swab, a vial with transport media to preserve the sample and a bag sold for $4 to $5 before the pandemic exhausted existing stocks.

In all, supplies from the labs were put together to create 2,000 test kits.

“We know that the 2,000 we came up with may not seem like much when there are 20-plus million Texans at risk that may need testing, but if you need to be tested and you can’t right now because they don’t have this kit then it’s a pretty big deal to you and your family. So we are doing what we can right now,” said Dr. Bruce Akey, director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory,

“We hope to get these sampling kits in the hospitals or clinics where they are most needed as soon as possible,” Akey said.

“We are pulling out all the stops.”

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