Adrian College purchases medical equipment for COVID-19 testing and vaccine storage

Adrian College’s Student Medical Clinic will soon have refrigeration and testing equipment in addition to partnering with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to continue its efforts in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Dr. Emily Kist, Adrian College’s Student Health Center director, said the College recently ordered the refrigerator/freezer unit that is able to safely store 8,000 doses of any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine, at any one time.

Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking believes the purchases and collaboration with MDHHS will benefit the entire campus community.

“With the new rise in coronavirus cases in the state of Michigan, Adrian College continues to plan for the future in keeping its staff, faculty and students as healthy as possible. Dealing with COVID-19 head-on has been one of Adrian College’s biggest accomplishments of the year,” said Docking.

With the preventive measures taken through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and rapid COVID-19 testing available on campus, Adrian College has been able to continue with in-person classes, athletic events, and academic award ceremonies.

The new refrigerator/freezer is manufactured by Helmer Scientific, an advanced company that provides medical-grade, temperature-controlled storage refrigerators and freezers for pharmacies, blood banks, laboratories and research centers.

In addition, the College has also purchased an Abbott ID NOW testing machine. The rapid molecular in vitro diagnostic test will be able to detect Strep A, Flu A and B, RSV and COVID-19 through direct nasal, nasopharyngeal or throat swabs.

Kist said, “This kind of equipment is rarely found in student health clinics. To be a small selective College with this kind of testing and storage for vaccines is almost unheard of.”

Kist noted that the diagnostic testing is very similar to a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and is highly accurate. PCR testing is only done in labs and is considered to be top of the line in SARS-CoV-2 detection. Similar to the PCR test, the Abbott ID NOW test can discover the virus within the first seven days of infection or symptoms.

“The combination of the Abbott ID NOW testing machine and refrigerator/freezer puts Adrian College in a position of growth,” said Docking.  “Our goal has always been to keep everyone safe and to provide as normal of a college experience for our students as possible. With that being said, it is our duty to be as innovative as possible and continue to serve our students.”

The new equipment is expected to be delivered to Adrian College’s campus the first week of May. Both the refrigerator/freezer unit and the Abbott ID NOW testing machine will be housed in the Student Medical Clinic.

Adrian College is one of twenty-six colleges partnering with MDHHS in efforts to distribute and administer the vaccine starting April 14. This effort comes as we approach the end of the school year and students prepare to return home for summer.