COVID-19 News

NSWC fast-tracks contract for COVID-19 test panel delivery

The Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) worked with an industry partner to quickly deliver respiratory test panels for COVID-19 to Naval vessels and medical units, according to a March 24 communication from Navy Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Center officials.

NSWC Indian Head EOD Technology Division (IHEODTD) responded to a request to quickly procure a mix of respiratory panels from BioFire Diagnostics of Salt Lake City—which included test panels for COVID-19—to the fleet and supporting Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Units/Forward Deployment Preventive Medical Units.

The COVID-19 panel is specific to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing for tests of 20 different pathogens—including influenzas and other coronaviruses in addition to the novel COVID-19—and can be used as a medical screening tool to identify organisms other than the pandemic coronavirus.

Within a day of the request, NSWC IHEODTD had coordinated with NAVSEA to process multiple fund documents and award a $7 million contract to procure the necessary panels directly from the manufacturer. The command's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense team is in the process of shipping the equipment ahead of schedule to the large deck and hospital ships.

“We can't overstate how proud we are,” said Eric H. Ver Hage, NAVSEA Warfare Center Commander, and Donald F. McCormack, NAVSEA Warfare Center Executive Director.