Montana State University and Gov. Bullock team up to expand COVID-19 testing

BOZEMAN- Gov. Steve Bullock announced Wednesday, July 22, 2020, that Montana State University will be stepping up to meet increased demands for COVID-19 testing.

The expanded testing looks to benefit essential workers, health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, and other groups by testing those without symptoms.

Researchers at MSU will begin surveillance testing next week with the capability of testing 500 people per day.

These surveillance testing methods look to test certain samples of the population that do not show symptoms in an effort to make testing as efficient and accurate as possible.

"Montana state is developing pooling methodologies which should allow for much greater testing capacities, this pooling methodology combines a handful of surveillance tests into one testing run, giving us the capability to increase our in state testing capacity by three to four time," Gov. Bullock said.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services will determine who needs to be tested and will ship the samples to labs at MSU.

The governor says they finalized a contract with a reference lab in North Carolina that will process an anticipated 1,000 tests each day from Montana.

"As the state’s land-grant university, this kind of service and outreach to the people of Montana is what we are called to do. Montana State University’s researchers have poured their creative energies into this project as well as other important endeavors that benefit the communities we serve," Montana State President Waded Cruzado said via press release.

More information on the partnership between Gov. Bullock and Montana State University can be found here.

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