MUSC Health rolling out portable pods for COVID-19 testing

VIDEO: MUSC Health rolling out portable pods for COVID-19 testing

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina will soon be able to bring COVID-19 testing to the community through portable pods.

Erik Modrzynski, the Ambulatory Safety and Emergency Manager for MUSC Health, teamed up with Dave Pastre from Clemson University to create a mobile specimen collection pod.

The self-contained site uses a shell that is usually used for portable restrooms to create their version of a self-contained and cost-effective walk-up testing site.

“The original idea started back when we had the West Ashley site set up and we had mass volumes of cars coming,” Modrzynski said.” One of the things we knew we needed was a way to do walk up testing and how we’re able to do that efficiently and safely with our care team and patients.”

Thirty of these pods will be placed outside of MUSC Health clinics, to safeguard the clinic and separate potentially sick patients. They will also be placed in areas around the community.

Modrzynski says this will help anyone who does not have a car or doesn’t want to wait hours in a drive-through testing site.

“Before people were coming up to us for testing, now we’re able to bring it to them,” he said.

Everything gets passed through from the inside of the pod to the outside, then once the test is completed it’s deposited in a cooler on the outside until it is picked up to send to one of the labs.

The portable pod wasn’t an original idea by Modrzynski and Pastre, but they looked for ways to make it affordable. Modrzynski says many companies are spending $50,000-60,000 dollars on a testing booth. Their portable pods are under $7,000 to roll out.

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