University of Kansas deploys Black & Veatch’s Rapid Modular Health System units to combat COVID-19

Looking to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus on its campuses in Lawrence and Overland Park, the University of Kansas has deployed four of Black & Veatch’s mobile, secure Rapid Modular Health System (RaMHS) structures to assist with free, mandated COVID-19 testing of students, faculty and staff returning for fall classes.

The modules – the first delivered the week of Aug. 10th for immediate use in advance of the university’s resumption of classes this week – were deployed on or near the university’s roughly 24,600-student primary campus in Lawrence. Those units include one outside of the campus’ Watkins Memorial Health Center.

The university has said that testing results should be available within 24 to 48 hours after the lab receives the samples. Results of the initial testing will help determine the frequency and type of future screenings, the university has said.

Developed by Black & Veatch – a 105-year-old global infrastructure leader with vast experience in pathogen-tracking methods and the construction of biological safety-related facilities – the RaMHS units are scalable, intermodal containers transformed into comfortable sites for COVID-19 screening and other diagnostic purposes. These windowed modules come in various sizes and configurations, electrical hook-up ready, weather-resistant, climate controlled, and lockable, providing security for personnel and equipment in any environment. The units can be outfitted with the latest in COVID response technology from a variety of partners.

The university’s rollouts of the RaMHS units coincide with the school’s “Protect KU” push to safeguard students and faculty, along with the communities where the university has a presence. Anyone who tests positive will be asked to stay off campus and interface with local health officials until they are cleared to return to campus.

The uniquely adaptable RaMHS module, which provides an alternate testing and screening site outside of traditional emergency room or doctor office settings, gives schools, health-care sites, office parks, government locations, commercial and industrial businesses, and retail locations the peace of mind of having a reliable, affordable coronavirus testing place within days. A RaMHS module already has been put to use by a Kansas City-area health system.

“Our company continues to enjoy a longstanding partnership with KU that began with our two founders as graduates of KU,” said Steve Edwards, Black & Veatch’s CEO.

“We applaud the University of Kansas’ prioritisation of health and safety throughout its system and its proactive use of solutions to safeguard its students, faculty and staff. We are pleased that Black & Veatch is playing a key role in helping make that happen,” added Dave Johnson, the RaMHS solutions team leader at Black & Veatch.

The climate-controlled RaMHS modules can be quickly daisy-chained to meet community and regional demands. In conjunction with other personal protective gear, this design can reduce exposure risks. RaMHS also is a hub where personal protection equipment can be disinfected and data can be harvested and analysed to record and measure where patients have been.

The RaMHS programme follows the recent announcement of Black & Veatch’s Growth Accelerator incubator to find and collaborate with startups and other innovators to expedite solutions that soften COVID-19’s impact. As a virtual, remote effort, the 2020 Black & Veatch IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator has engaged companies and entrepreneurs who have real-time ideas about how to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak and  need help commercialising, rapidly deploying and scaling those concepts.

Source: Black & Veatch