TheOak Crest Institute of Science has been running at full speed throughout thepandemic thanks to a rapidly implemented IRB-approved workplace clinical studythat includes frequent, longitudinal COVID-19 testing. The study, starting inMarch 2020, used the faculty, staff, and family members as subjects to evaluatethe impact of regular testing on worksite productivity.
Theability to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-qPCR (nasal swab) at levels before employeesbecome infectious (according to CDC guidelines) and with same-day results hasallowed Oak Crest to maintain a safe workplace.
Studylead Marc Baum notes that this should serve as a model for other organizations:“The study is a testament to how a small organization can creatively useits resources and expertise to safely and responsibly remain operationalthroughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and make some pretty significant scientificdiscoveries along the way. We hope our clinical study can serve as a roadmapfor others to follow.”
Firstauthor Manjula Gunawardana also highlights the enormous impact on the Oak Crestfamily: “In addition to the scientific findings contributing to COVID-19epidemiology, the study provided much needed information about the spread ofinfection and an assurance to employees and their household members, enabling“normality in daily life” during the pandemic in L.A county.”
The publication has just been submitted for peer-review and is available as a pre-print on medRxiv.