HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force signs agreement for oral fluid coronavirus testing at Air Force installations

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --

The Department of the Air Force signed an agreement April 17 with Curative, Inc., to deploy and scale an oral fluid coronavirus test, which recently received a Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization, across Air Force installations.

The Department of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, in coordination with the Defense Health Agency and Joint Acquisition Task Force established by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment and DHA, is managing the $13 million research and development Blanket Purchase Agreement with the COVID-19 testing startup.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) and DHA are the healthcare R&D funds manager, and approved the investment as a risk reduction alternative to nasal swab testing. Successful testing could also lead to broader use for testing the U.S. population.

The agreement provides for the initial production of more than 40,000 test kits and associated training for military medical personnel. Testing is expected to begin in the next two weeks. The agreement establishes one laboratory, in addition to Curative’s existing lab, and eight testing sites at yet-to-be named military installations across the continental United States. Each lab is expected to process up to 50,000 test examinations per day. These orally administered tests have an average turnaround time of 24 hours.

“For over two years, we’ve been accelerating our government purchasing system to work with innovative tech startups who need fast decisions and cash,” said Dr. Will Roper, the Air Force’s acquisitions czar. “We had the right innovation network in place to find this potentially game-changing test and strike a deal at wartime speeds. Our men and women in uniform, and our nation, need a highly-scalable coronavirus test.”

In addition to scalable production, Roper said the oral swab test could be self-administered and sealed for laboratory processing without taxing healthcare workers or medical supplies. “The entire chain of events required for testing appears to scale. Our job now is to demonstrate this quickly,” Roper said.

Clinical studies suggest Curative’s oral fluid test has equivalent sensitivity to nasopharyngeal swab tests that require a nurse. Curative has deployed its oral test kit at drive-thru and other centers in Los Angeles, testing more than 57,000 people at a rate now grown to approximately 5,000 per day. The Air Force hopes to scale this an order of magnitude in a manner replicable for national need.

“Though our starting point is the military, we’re ensuring there are no ceilings to going bigger,” Roper said. “We assigned our best and brightest from the Rapid Capabilities Office to build the plan. They’re living up to their name.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Sharene and I take the caring and well-being of our Airmen and their families very seriously. Thank you @AirForceAssoc fo…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Everyone wants to make their mark on the world. But why make just one? https://t.co/g1iX4pzU9b
Twitter
10 years have passed since #DontAskDontTell was repealed. @UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones celebrated the milestone by… https://t.co/i1kTNvykzM
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: It’s going to take all of our Airmen, Active-duty, Reserve and Guard to secure this nation’s future. https://t.co/4P3CUiQ…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: A few years ago, only two small businesses joined us at AFA--this year we have 40+. @AFWERX works with these companies ever…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF is meeting with defense industry leaders today during the @AirForceAssoc’s #ASC21 events. In his #OneTeamOneFigh
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our rate of change needs to increase. We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of to…
Twitter
.@AETCommand is working to remove barriers in the pilot candidate selection process. Learn more about the changes… https://t.co/ANcqVRdsNz
Twitter
.@UnderSecAF Gina Ortiz Jones spoke on the anniversary of DADT... https://t.co/zZYqHOTp8V
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: "We are in a national, strategic, long-term contest with a formidable adversary and what you do every day is important t…
Twitter
"We must move with a sense of urgency today in order to rise to the challenges of tomorrow. Because the return to s… https://t.co/yeYvmOaOos
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Our collaboration with industry is integral to ensuring we are able to compete, deter and win tomorrow against peer adver…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Impossible ends with you. https://t.co/e6ebHtvBDg
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,377,287
Follow Us