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Senior care facility says testing technology from Oregon company has prevented multiple COVID-19 outbreaks

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    MCMINNVILE, OR (KPTV) — One Oregon company is trying to help businesses in the fight against COVID-19 by testing buildings and the air for the virus.

EnviralTech was formed out of Eugene at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Their technology now helps businesses pinpoint where and when the virus enters their buildings.

EnviralTech does environmental testing for COVID-19. That means they can test surfaces and the air for the presence of coronavirus.

“We knew that testing was going to be a really important piece in helping to fight the spread of COVID,” said EnviralTech CEO Shula Jaron.

Jaron says their testing works almost the same way as testing for humans. Their testing kits use a swab to test a surface and they then use the same technologies used for humans to test that swab. They can then determine how much COVID is at that location.

“We can tell them when COVID first enters their building. That’s super important when you’re trying to stop the spread, especially in long-term care facilities,” Jaron said.

Testing is helping facilities like The Springs Living in McMinnville. When the senior care facility first heard of EnviralTech, the company was quite new.

“We tested all of our community, all of our Springs Living community every week for the presence of COVID,” said The Springs Living CEO Fee Stubblefield.

Stubblefield says thanks to this new technology, they’ve been able to stop multiple outbreaks.

“We were able to identify a few asymptomatic, positive employees. They were coming to work, and they had no symptoms at all. And that made all the difference in the world, because we were able to remove them from that environment,” he said.

Stubblefield says the testing gives them about five to seven days before they would normally notice the presence of COVID-19.

“While we can’t keep COVID out of our communities, if we get on it fast, we can prevent the fire from spreading. We can minimize an outbreak and we’ve been very fortunate,” he said.

EnviralTech says it doesn’t see their testing stopping when this pandemic is over.

“These types of tests are going to help us know what’s in our environment and then to take precautions to avoid getting sick,” said Jaron.

In addition to surface testing, EnviralTech can also test the air for COVID-19. Stubblefield says it will also be using that testing process after the presence of COVID-19 was detected inside the facility’s air ducts.

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