SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bloom Energy and El Camino Health today announced the launch of the University of Illinois’ innovative Shield T3 COVID testing system and mobile laboratory at Bloom Energy’s manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California.
The new mobile lab, powered and hosted by Bloom Energy, is open to Bay Area businesses and schools for simple, rapid and inexpensive COVID-19 testing.
One in six tests purchased by participating organizations will be donated to Gardner Health Services, a local non-profit healthcare organization, to expand much needed testing capacity in communities most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Pioneered by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Shield T3 test requires only a deposit of saliva instead of an intrusive nasal swab. It takes minutes to administer and aims to generate results within six hours of the test being delivered to the mobile laboratory.
Further, Shield T3 tests for three genes present in the coronavirus, versus other tests which look for just one, earning it a specificity of greater than 99% and very few false positives.
As local businesses and schools continually evaluate ways to safely maintain their essential operations or reopen following shelter in place orders, the new lab enables organizations to collect saliva samples at their workplace or site of choice, eliminating the time-consuming commute to various testing locations by hundreds of employees, staff or students. The samples are then transported to the mobile lab in Sunnyvale for rapid processing.
“The safe continuity of our manufacturing operations is essential to our customers who rely on us for clean and resilient energy,” said Susan Brennan, chief operations officer, Bloom Energy. “By partnering with Shield T3 and El Camino Health, we have significantly improved upon our existing and robust screening for our essential employees so we can provide a safe working environment. We invite other organizations in Silicon Valley, who seek simple, rapid, convenient and inexpensive testing, to join us as we all endeavor to safely and deliberately maintain operations or reopen, while ensuring we can serve our Bay Area communities in need.”
The mobile lab, set up by Shield T3 and overseen by El Camino Health, is a testament to how private and public organizations are working together to create innovative solutions to help combat the unprecedented pandemic. The mobile lab is capable of processing up to 10,000 tests per day, and participating organizations have the flexibility in determining the frequency and variance of testing.
Gardner Health Services will deploy the donated testing kits to a number of its clinics across Santa Clara County to serve in-need communities as they tackle testing demand that far exceeds their current supply. The problem is most acute in Santa Clara County’s hardest hit areas, where positivity rates have topped 15 percent at their East San Jose test site.
“An unprecedented pandemic requires an extraordinary response, and Shield T3 is just that,” said Tim Killeen, President of the University of Illinois System. “We are proud to help Bloom Energy deliver Shield technology that saves lives, improves productivity, ensures well-being, and sees to it that they successfully weather this pandemic.”
While testing plays an important role in limiting disease spread, it is most successful when combined with epidemiological modeling, contact tracing, masks and social distancing.
“We’ve worked hard to make testing widely available to the communities we serve, as it is a critical component in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dan Woods, chief executive officer of El Camino Health. “We’re pleased to partner with Bloom Energy and Shield T3 to bring this new testing option to the Bay Area which includes some of the hardest hit areas of our state.”
“As COVID-19 disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minority communities — many of whom are essential workers or do not have access to healthcare — our mission to create equitable access to testing is more critical than ever,” said Maribel Montanez, director of development, Gardner Health Services. “As a non-profit healthcare organization, we are grateful for the support Bay Area organizations are providing as part of this initiative, ensuring we can serve our communities most in need.”
Organizations interested in using Shield T3’s testing system at Bloom Energy’s Sunnyvale facility or elsewhere can visit us at www.shieldt3.com or bloomenergy.com/COVID19TestLab, or email us at email@example.com.
About Bloom Energy
Bloom Energy’s mission is to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world. Bloom Energy’s product, the Bloom Energy Server, delivers highly reliable and resilient, always-on electric power that is clean, cost-effective, and ideal for microgrid applications. Bloom’s customers include many Fortune 100 companies and leaders in manufacturing, data centers, healthcare, retail, higher education, utilities, and other industries. For more information, visit www.bloomenergy.com.
About Shield T3
Pioneered by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Shield T3 is a comprehensive solution to curb and control the spread of COVID-19. Shield T3’s I-COVID test functions at a cost, speed and accuracy that outperforms other currently available tests. In addition, the program offers a mobile app that delivers instant notification of test results and keeps constituents informed of testing requirements. Shield innovation is currently in use across the University of Illinois System, and at nearly a dozen other universities and companies globally.
About El Camino Health
El Camino Health provides a personalized healthcare experience at two non-profit acute care hospitals in Los Gatos and Mountain View and at primary care, multi-specialty care, and urgent care locations across Santa Clara County. For nearly sixty years, the organization has grown to meet the needs of individuals and communities it serves. Bringing together the best in new technology and advanced medicine, the network of nationally recognized physicians and care teams deliver high-quality, compassionate care. Key medical specialties include heart and vascular, cancer and lifestyle medicine. The hospitals have earned numerous awards for clinical excellence, such as a 5-Star Overall Hospital Quality Rating from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and nursing care, including three consecutive American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Care. Visit elcaminohealth.org to learn more.