A&M-San Antonio donates 100 COVID-19 FDA-compliant sampling kits

By University Communications

Tuesday, 04 07 2020

Collaborating with CentroMed to help ease growing regional need

San Antonio — Texas A&M University-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson today presented 100 COVID-19 testing kits to CentroMed to help address the growing need across the region. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station rushed the viral sampling kits to A&M-San Antonio. The kits were assembled from lab supplies usually reserved for testing at A&M’s four diagnostic labs across the state.

“We are grateful to Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory and our colleagues across the A&M System,” said Teniente-Matson. “These tests will help meet the growing need to track the coronavirus in our community and contribute to protecting the health and safety of our neighbors. During this time that is presenting new challenges for us all, we must and will continue to find value in shared resources and partnerships.”

“We appreciate our partnership with Texas A&M-San Antonio and are grateful for their donation of much-needed test kits,” said Dr. Ernesto Gomez, president and CEO of CentroMed.

“As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in District 3, access to more tests is imperative. This generous donation is a much-needed contribution in our work to stop the spread in San Antonio,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran. “In this partnership, we all share one common goal, which is to aid the residents of San Antonio. And working together and combining resources, we now have the capabilities to facilitate more testing in the southern sector of the city. We know that testing is not enough to stop this virus, so residents must do their part and follow the Stay Home/Work Safe order, and continue and follow CDC prevention guidelines.”

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said university experts who track disease outbreaks in animals were ready to assist with the current human pandemic. “No one has ever done this before, but tough times call for creative measures,” Sharp said.

Dr. Bruce Akey, director of the Texas A&M Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, said he sent out a plea for supplies to his labs in Amarillo, Center and Gonzales, and they began overnighting the supplies late last week. “We assembled the supplies into sampling kits here in our College Station lab,” Akey said. “We know that the 2,000 we came up with may not seem like much when there are 20-plus million Texans at risk that may need testing, but if you need to be tested and you can’t right now because they don’t have this kit, then it’s a pretty big deal to you and your family. So we are doing what we can right now.”

The kits consist of a swab, a vial with transport media to preserve the sample in the vial and a bag. The kits usually cost about $4 to $5 if ordered in bulk before the pandemic swept through the existing stock. Now these simple supplies are back-ordered for months, hampering efforts to test humans for COVID-19.

“We hope to get these sampling kits in the hospitals or clinics where they are most needed as soon as possible,” Akey said. “We are pulling out all the stops.”

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About Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, A&M-San Antonio is a Military Embracing™ institution offering 29 undergraduate degrees and 14 graduate degrees to over 6,700 students. The University is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders and the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center. A&M-San Antonio holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation. Military Times ranks the University No. 35 in the nation for “Best for Vets: Colleges.” Visit tamusa.edu for more information. #onamission

About CentroMed
CentroMed is a nonprofit primary health care practice with 22 service sites throughout San Antonio, New Braunfels, Converse and Somerset. In 2019, CentroMed served 96,589 unduplicated patients, consisting of 341,976 office visits. CentroMed provides medical, dental and behavioral health care services to families in need. To learn more about CentroMed, visit CentroMedsa.com.  

To make an appointment with CentroMed,
call (210) 922-7000.

About the Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a budget of $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
lcopelin@tamus.edu