Oklahoma Christian University needed fast and affordable COVID-19 testing to be able to reopen in person for the fall semester. This is where IMMY stepped in.
IMMY is a laboratory which is currently providing free coronavirus testing in Edmond and across the state, with a testing location hosted at Oklahoma Christian.
Many students have used IMMY to receive fast, effective COVID-19 tests.
Jeff McCormack, chief academic officer and head of the COVID-19 campus readiness task force, was instrumental in bringing IMMY’s services to Oklahoma Christian. He sat down with the Talon to discuss the laboratory’s history and work with coronavirus testing on campus.
What is IMMY?
IMMY Labs started as a company that provided diagnostic tests for fungal infections. They really focused on fungal infections in developing countries around the world.
The “IM” in IMMY stands for “immunologic” and the “MY” stands for “mycologic,” which are fungal infections. These are their focuses for diagnostic testing.
How did you get in contact with IMMY about testing at Oklahoma Christian?
I have been on the board of a medical mission in Honduras called Predisan. I originally contacted IMMY about a year ago to use some of their testing in Honduras, so I’ve known the CEO for some time now. When I started looking at developing COVID testing in Oklahoma, I was working with IMMY Labs.
I called the CEO and we talked through what they were doing and their strategy. Their strategy was to offer tests in Moore and other areas, so I said, “what about Edmond?” and they said yes. It literally happened in about 24 hours.
Oklahoma Christian initially offered a saliva test using a different lab before offering IMMY’s services. Why did it change?
On move-in day, we selected the initial testing service because it was a very easy process. The saliva test is easy to do; people are not as concerned about giving saliva as the [standard method].
We wanted to do the first-level screening with the saliva test and we had a high level of participation. The saliva test requires insurance and that was problematic, while IMMY is providing [testing] for free. Since we would be using testing regularly, we switched to IMMY.
Since IMMY tests are free, how are they being paid for?
They are free through the CARES Act funding. There is no insurance or anything.
How long will IMMY be providing testing?
There is no end identified yet. As quickly as the tests came here, at some point, we’re not going to need it, but I don’t know when that is.
I’m also looking at bringing on a test that we would do on campus and you would know your results within fifteen minutes.
Can anyone be tested with IMMY — not just Oklahoma Christian students?
Yes. It’s a service that we provided for students, faculty and staff that can also be used by the community. Because it is CARES Act funded, anyone can sign up to do testing. You drive up, sign in and get tested — it’s probably two minutes, if that much. It’s a really quick process.
IMMY COVID-19 results currently arrive within a day after the test. How accurate is their testing?
They do the PCR test, which is the gold standard. It is the best test around for COVID-19.
How has IMMY affected Oklahoma Christian’s effort to slow the spread of COVID-19?
We are so fortunate and blessed that we have this relationship so that we can have free testing on a regular basis. Some campuses are providing testing, but it’s costing them a lot of money. Since this is provided through the CARES Act, we’re really fortunate.
IMMY is available for testing at Oklahoma Christian every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and every Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here to schedule an appointment. Testing is also available at the University of Central Oklahoma every Monday and Thursday, with other testing locations in Moore and Norman.