We're In This Together

Loft Partners with RI Commerce and Rhode Island National Guard’s WMD 13th Civil Support Team to Develop COVID-19 Testing Sites

Jeanette Numbers

In April 2020, looking to help in the fight against Coronavirus, Loft set out to build two COVID-19 test sites. As an agile local business with physical space at our disposal, we realized...

In April 2020, looking to help in the fight against Coronavirus, we approached RI Commerce with a proposal to build two COVID-19 test sites. Inspired by other test sites used internationally, we were confident we could design an efficient, safe, and scalable solution. Plans were finalized in late April and two weeks later, with the support of RI Commerce and the Rhode Island National Guard WMD 13th Civil Support Team, we began construction at our headquarters in Providence.

These patented mobile testing sites are the first of their kind. Each test site consists of two trailers. The first trailer serves as an intake structure. Patients enter in groups of four and soldiers help them complete the necessary paperwork from behind a protective booth. Once intake forms are completed, each patient is given a packaged test kit and directed to the second trailer with their kit in hand. Upon entering the second trailer, patients sit on a bench two at a time and give their test kits to waiting doctors, who are separated from patients by a layer of protective plastic. The doctors administer the test from behind the protective booth using armhole gloves. After the test has been administered, patients take their securely packaged test kits and drop them into a receiving box for analysis.

Each test site is capable of testing 60 patients per hour (nearly 500 people a day) and has the potential to save the National Guard thousands of dollars in PPE per month. We designed this patented system to be as streamlined and efficient as possible, with clear direction of physical movement, repeatable steps, and opportunities to scale. The booths keep soldiers protected while conserving PPE, saving money on equipment and simultaneously reducing environmental impact. What’s more, the trailers can be driven to designated testing locations and powered by generators onsite. Their inherent mobility makes them ideal for testing some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including densely populated areas with limited transportation options, tribal communities, and the elderly.

The first trailers were built, tested, and refined in two weeks. Additional builds will take three days and we are ready to take on the challenge. Interested in learning more about these test sites? Ready to help us build more?

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Potential Sites
•Schools and universities
•Corporate parks
•Densely populated urban areas
•Stadiums and outdoor venues
•Senior homes
•Test 60 people/hour
•Save thousands in PPE
•Ensure safety of testing team and public

About Loft: Loft is a design and engineering firm with offices in Providence and San Francisco. Loft is passionate about bringing life to life-changing ideas, which is why they specialize in medical device and wearable design. With over 30 years of award-winning product development and design experience, and over 100 patents, Loft is known amongst clients and colleagues as results-oriented doers.

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