LANDSTUHL, Germany --- Soldiers, Civilians and Local Nationals from Public Health Command Europe’s laboratory sciences division are fully committed in battling COVID-19. In order to support efforts in fighting COVID-19, the division is now assisting Landstuhl Regional Medical Center with COVID-19 testing and helping to analyze water samples from potential quarantine and isolation facilities.PHCE’s laboratory is an accredited full-service public health laboratory, which provides biological and chemical analytical services, such as testing for bacterial contamination in food and water or heavy metals, like lead, and pesticides in water, air or soil.LRMC is the only U.S. military medical treatment facility in Europe with mass diagnostic testing capabilities, so PHCE’s assistance helps LRMC meet the demand for test results.“We have dedicated several analytical instruments, four subject matter experts, laboratory scientists , and supplies to LRMC’s diagnostic lab section to increase the testing capabilities for COVID-19,” said Col. Jeremy Bearss, PHCE’s Chief of Laboratory Sciences Division. “It’s important that we work together in times like these. We are augmenting LRMC’s laboratory to help minimize the turnaround time of COVID-19 testing results.”Bearss explained that a quick turnaround time in receiving a test result of a suspected case can inform better treatment and isolation decisions and thereby decrease the spread of the virus. It is recommended that the individual can limit the transmission by staying at home and avoiding social contacts.“The sooner people know if their test is positive or not, the faster we can begin Contact Tracing and identifying others who may have been exposed," explained Bearss.Another way PHCE helps stop the spread of COVID-19 is by conducting water sampling for designated quarantine and isolation facilities throughout Germany and Belgium.IMCOM and USAREUR requested water quality testing of more than 55 buildings that are all currently unoccupied as a precautionary measure to prepare them for use as quarantine or isolation facilities if needed.“Environmental Health Sciences is taking more than 200 water samples from facilities that have been identified as potential quarantine or isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients,” explained Lt. Col. Alyson Tucker, Director of PHCE’s Environmental Health Sciences. “We send the samples to our laboratory to analyze them to see if the drinking water meets the required water quality.”Public Health Command Europe provides the foundation of readiness by providing comprehensive public health services in support of the warfighter and installations across Europe and deployed locations.For more information on COVID-19 please visit https://rhce.amedd.army.mil/COVID19info.html