Western New Mexico University purchased 1,500 Curative Labs, Inc. COVID-19 PCR tests to offer its faculty, staff, students and Mustang athletes for collection under trained supervision on the WNMU campus.
On the leading edge of keeping its community safe, WNMU now has more testing options and will be able catch the COVID-19 virus more quickly, thereby minimizing the spread of the virus. In addition to making PCR tests and on-site antigen testing available, the university’s health partnerships with Hidalgo Medical Services, Gila Regional Medical Center, and Walgreens ensures a variety of options to help the university maintain the health of the entire WNMU community.
“One of the key objectives for our university is to identify an infected person as quickly as possible so we can isolate the virus and prevent spread in the community,” said Dr. Joseph Shepard, President of WNMU. “With the backlog in testing locally and having to wait five days to receive test results, the probability of unintentional spread increases. With our array of testing and now with Curative’s support, we can get results back quicker and reduce instances of exposure on campus.”
Founded in January of 2020, Curative developed an FDA-approved PCR test that detects COVID-19 at its inception. Unlike the nasal PCR test, which WNMU also has the capability to conduct on campus, the new Curative test makes use of a simple mouth swab to collect the necessary samples to examine for the genetic material associated with the COVID-19 virus. Once the sample is collected via the mouth, it is overnighted to one of Curative’s laboratories, which are currently able to turn around results in 24 to 48 hours. The test has a 90% clinical sensitivity and a 100% test specificity.
The simplicity of the new test reduces the strain on local health centers as well as simplifies an individual’s ability to get tested. This leads to a quicker diagnostic, better enabling WNMU to isolate the virus and reduce spread.
“While the Curative test is a game changer for us,” Dr. Shepard said, “we must continue with safe COVID practices. We need to quarantine, wear our face masks, and social distance. The sooner we adhere to these best practices, the sooner our economy and way of life can return to normal.”