Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19. (U.S. Army photo by Tony Housey)
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19. (U.S. Army photo by Tony Housey) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
Army Capt. Eric Coate, Molecular Diagnostics officer in charge, loads patient samples for COVID-19 ribonucleic acid (RNA) testing at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, April 9, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards)
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Army Capt. Eric Coate, Molecular Diagnostics officer in charge, loads patient samples for COVID-19 ribonucleic acid (RNA) testing at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, April 9, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards) (Photo Credit: Jason Edwards) VIEW ORIGINAL
Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19.
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19. (Photo Credit: Spc. Sara Messner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19.
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19. (Photo Credit: Spc. Sara Messner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19.
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19. (Photo Credit: Spc. Sara Messner) VIEW ORIGINAL
Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19.
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Isolation Support Facility (ISF) personnel of the 581st ASMC, 61st MMB and 1st Medical Brigade out of Ft. Hood, Texas and a Mobile Medical Laboratory provided by FORSCOM work with Medics from the Minnesota National Guard on Camp Ripley July 28, 2020 to test Soldiers prior to mobilization for training. The testing which began June 18, 2020 for Task Force Viking (1/34th ABCT) completed just under 4,000 tests aiding the process to reduce training distractions or health risks due to COVID-19. (Photo Credit: Spc. Sara Messner) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (August 11, 2020) - A Brooke Army Medical Center microbiologist has deployed to a COVID-19 mobile medical lab at Camp Ripley, Minn.

U.S. Army Capt. Eric Coate, microbiologist, is the only BAMC staff member deployed to Camp Ripley and is the acting lab manager on the ground.

Mobile medical labs are moveable units that are modeled on the inside to handle COVID-19 specimen testing carefully and efficiently. The inside of the lab consists of bench space, biosafety cabinets and COVID-19 testing instruments.

While at Camp Ripley, Coate is surrounded by contractors and people affiliated with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division and Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense.

“There were very spur of the moment things we had to do at first and at times it was stressful but we built resiliency and were able to adapt to the change,” said Coate.

While Coate was the only BAMC Soldier on the ground in Minnesota, he also worked with Lt. Col. Robert Cybulski, Jr., Director of Microbiology, who oversaw the work remotely from BAMC.

Cybulski explains that the labs have sped up testing and if it weren’t for the mobile medical labs, the national guardsmen being tested would have had to mail all of their tests to another medical location and wait for results before being deployed to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

There have been nearly 4,000 COVID-19 tests run at Camp Ripley as of the last testing date on July 28, 2020.

“This has been rewarding even from my remote work because I can see that we’ve been able to give medical providers and leaders their results quickly so they can get their deployment process moving,” said Cybulski.

The workers on the ground in Minnesota have been able to give Soldiers their test results within an hour or two. If a Soldier tests positive they are put in barracks for designated isolation for 14 days. If a Soldier has been in contact with someone who tests positive, they are put in a different set of barracks to quarantine for 14 days. The local dining facility delivers three meals a day to those in isolation and quarantine. Soldiers can place outside orders through a local store to be picked up by someone working at the site each day.

Army Lt. Col. Dean Stulz, the deputy state surgeon for the Minnesota National Guard, is currently caring for Soldiers in California, but was crucial to early initiatives taken at Camp Ripley.

While Coate had to create a system for specimen labeling and accessioning, tracking specimens and making sure the test results were received by the provider, Stulz assisted with ensuring that the measures and guidelines were met.

“The test turnaround time exceeded expectations and helped things flow better,” said Stulz.

Prior to any testing, Coate and Stulz had to ensure that all testing was Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant and during testing, there was a collective force to ensure that every Soldier’s results were uploaded to their medical records.