CMU Students, Faculty Make Critical Component in COVID-19 Test Kits
Central Michigan University students and faculty are playing a part in the fight against the coronavirus.
“This is an opportunity for I think CMU to give back to the community, to show that we’re in it together,” says CMU College of Medicine Professor Jesse Bakke.
When Prof. Bakke heard that local hospitals were short on COVID-19 testing kits, he and his students took on the challenge.
“The testing has been limited to primarily to people who are most sick, so with this increase in supply we can potentially start testing and looking for true numbers, how much people are actually affected,” says Bakke.
For a few hours a day, the group volunteered to make vials of liquid, called virus transport mediums, a critical component to the COVID-19 testing chain.
Christopher Twilling, second year medical student at CMU, says, “Without this step in-between you can’t transfer the patient’s sample to get it properly read.”
Together, the students and staff created more than 8,000 virus transport mediums for local hospitals.
“Just the sheer quantity of infected individuals, potentially infected people that need to be tested, is kind of rate limiting factor to really get a hold of this,” says Twilling.
Prof. Bakke and Twilling hope this will help make testing more widely available in the area. A step they say is vital in order to return to normal.
“The more we can determine that value, the quicker we can realize can we start opening things up, how can we resume our normal lives and we need testing to do that,” says Bakke.