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COVID testing remains key part of Vandenberg readiness

Photo of airman in medical lab

Staff Sgt. Cody Emery, 30th Medical Group medical lab technician, prepares a COVID test sample for processing April 8, 2021, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 30th MDG expanded testing capabilities with a new Cepheid testing machine, which can simultaneously test for COVID-19, Flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. The new system can also process four times as many test samples at once, while also reducing the turnaround times for test results by about a third. (U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Peterson)

Photo of airman in medical lab

Staff Sgt. Cody Emery, 30th Medical Group medical lab technician, prepares a COVID test sample for processing April 8, 2021, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 30th MDG expanded testing capabilities with a new Cepheid testing machine, which can simultaneously test for COVID-19, Flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. The new system can also process four times as many test samples at once, while also reducing the turnaround times for test results by about a third. (U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Peterson)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Although vaccination appointments for COVID-19 are being provided to an expanding population at Vandenberg AFB through Operation Fight Back, the 30th Medical Group also remains committed to providing continued COVID testing and contact tracing to maximize base readiness.

“Testing continues to be an important strategy for combating this pandemic,” said Major Aubrey Reid, 30th MDG health care integrator. “It is important to contact the 30th Medical Group at 805-606-CARE when you feel ill or as directed by current guidance for COVID testing.”

Risk factors for increasing the spread of COVID still linger, with schools starting to open up, recent spring break travel, and the upcoming PCS season for many Airmen and Guardians. Even amidst an increasing population of vaccinated individuals, testing remains a necessary piece in the fight against COVID.

“Some unique situations can still drive testing,” said Reid. “Schools may require a negative test for children prior to returning to school or ask that they stay home for 14 days based on symptoms. Traveling may also drive certain types of tests at different intervals, so it’s important to research what type of testing may be needed and call the 30th Medical Group to help get scheduled.”

The process is more efficient than ever, as the 30th MDG recently expanded testing capabilities with a new Cepheid testing machine, which can simultaneously test for COVID-19, Flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. According to Staff Sgt. Cody Emery, 30th MDG medical lab technician, the new system can process four times as many test samples at once, while also reducing the turnaround times for test results by about a third.

“The quicker turnaround helps speed up testing and contact tracing on base,” said Emery. “This will in turn inform our leadership and public health in their decision-making process to keep the base population safe and minimize the spread of COVID.”

The 30th MDG is able to offer testing for COVID Monday through Friday, by appointment only, through their drive-thru testing clinic.

“Through immunization, testing and contact tracing, we have the tools to help keep our base safe.” said Reid. “We can offer COVID results within 24 to 48 hours using our in-house testing capabilities, and our new MHS Genesis electronic health system allows patients to see their COVID test results from home.”

Call 805-606-CARE to more information on scheduling a COVID test, including directions to the drive-thru testing location and additional reporting guidance.