Mobile service will provide COVID testing, vaccines and wraparound services
Mobility Health, a biohealth start-up company based in Mason, Ohio, reached an agreement with Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), a non-profit partnership between UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco founded by Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna, to conduct free mobile diagnostic testing and provide vaccines for workers and students (age 5 and over) in Northern California communities.
The mobile unit will travel to rotating sites throughout the Salinas Valley to conduct COVID-19 diagnostic testing using Mobility Health’s highly accurate, Emergency Use Authorized, PCR-based COVID-19 test. Free vaccinations will be provided by the Visiting Nurses Association and VIDA Community Health Worker Program will provide additional services including translation and wrap-around services for anyone who tests positive.
“This agreement extends the reach of Mobility Health to another region of the country,” said Sandra Gunselman, Ph.D., President, CEO, and founder of Mobility Health. “This partnership allows us to further our mission of bridging gaps to provide access to healthcare in areas of need.”
Testing will take place at Salinas Valley area schools on Fridays and migrant workers will be tested on Saturdays, allowing those testing negative to return to work on Monday. Anyone who tests positive will meet one-on-one with health care experts from the VIDA Community Health Worker Program in private tents and booths to help them with housing, rent, and food while they are quarantined. All positive test samples will go to the IGI labs at UC Berkeley to help state, national and global efforts to track the spread of virus variants.
Mobility Health’s mobile lab is designed with “green” features including solar panels, a back-up generator, and a unique biohazard waste management system that sterilizes and compacts waste in a form that has minimal impact on the environment.
“From the beginning of the pandemic, the IGI has been committed to using our scientific capabilities to serve our community and to help fill important gaps in the pandemic response. This partnership will allow us to bring valuable services directly to people in our community who have had the hardest time accessing testing and vaccinations,” said Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., founder and President of IGI, and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mobility Health offers highly accurate rapid results, with CDC and State reporting within 24 hours of receiving the test sample. Individuals will be able to access results using Mobility Health’s proprietary, comprehensive, password-protected digital platform, which ensures privacy of personal information.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and new variants emerge, many people continue to need COVID-19 tests for a variety of reasons. These include people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, government and employer mandates, entertainment venues requiring proof of vaccination or negative test, or school districts implementing plans to combat the spread among students and staff. Even with the President’s pledge to provide free at-home tests, high-quality testing is still difficult for many people in the US to access. This remains an especially acute challenge for the migrant worker community. We are here to respond to that challenge.
The IGI thanks the David & Lucile Packard Foundation for its generous support.
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