How the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Solved Its COVID Testing Challenge

Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) faced the same challenge that many correctional institutions are facing: finding a source for reliable, quick and easy-to-administer staff COVID testing.

After trialing several vendors, the department partnered with Fulgent Genetics. Fulgent has labs in Houston and Southern California and has already processed well over one million COVID tests.

The ODRC selected Fulgent as a partner because they delivered several key advantages that other providers couldn’t offer.

First, Fulgent delivers what the CDC refers to as “gold-standard” RT-PCR testing, fast. Even as it’s met the needs of correctional institutions, cities, counties and private businesses, the company’s maintained a track record of delivering over 90% of results within 24-hours of receiving samples.

These timely results allow ODRC employees to learn their COVID-19 status more quickly and rely on the high levels of accuracy delivered by RT-PCR testing.

Second, Fulgent provided the ODRC with a built-in monitoring and analytics platform. This allows administrators to easily track employee test results and monitor the overall health of their workforce. Fulgent’s analytics platform is a standard part of their testing solution and can be adapted to a wide range of scenarios.

Next, the Fulgent team was able to integrate their testing platform with ODRC employees’ existing ID badges. Now, when an ODRC employee comes in for a test, they simply scan their ID badge, and their sample is linked to that unique ID within the Fulgent platform.

This integration streamlines the testing process, making things easier and more efficient for employees, healthcare providers and administrators.

Fulgent’s hands-on support has been another important aspect of the company’s service for the ODRC.

“We’re available 24/7/365” said Will Goodson, Fulgent’s Senior Director of Sales and Business Development. “I’ve answered calls from the ODRC and other clients late at night, first thing in the morning, even on Thanksgiving Day.”

The company understands that making sure correctional institutions have the support they need, when they need it, is critical.

Finally, unlike some RT-PCR tests, Fulgent’s can be self-administered directly by employees. This eliminates the need to have a healthcare provider on-hand administering tests and makes the experience more pleasant.

“Nobody would ever say that a nasal swab is fun” says Goodson, “but it’s certainly more pleasant to be guiding the swab yourself, instead of having someone else administer it to you.”

Now in its 3rd month of operation, the ODRC’s partnership with Fulgent has allowed them to routinely test their approximately 14,000 employees.

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters a winter period that microbiologists have predicted to be sobering, and difficult, testing programs like the ODRC’s are more important than ever before to limiting the spread of the disease in correctional facilities.

Fulgent, for its part, is ready. The company has been rapidly expanding its testing facilities and capabilities so that it can continue to offer institutions like the ODRC access to fast, dependable results even as demand increases.

This article is designated as Branded Content and Correctional News does not ensure the veracity or accuracy of the information included within.