SAN ANTONIO -- A Brooke Army Medical Center microbiologist has deployed to a COVID-19 mobile medical lab at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.Army Capt. Eric Coate is the only BAMC staff member deployed to Camp Ripley and is the acting lab manager.Mobile medical labs are moveable units that are able 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 the 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," Coate said. "But we built resilience and were able to adapt to the change."The only BAMC soldier on the ground in Minnesota, Coate works remotely with Army Lt. Col. Robert Cybulski, Jr., director of microbiology at BAMC.Cybulski explains that if it weren't for the mobile medical labs, the guardsmen being tested would have had to mail their tests to another medical location and wait for the results before being deployed to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.By July 28, the mobile medical lab had performed nearly 4,000 COVID-19 tests at Camp Ripley."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," Cybulski said.The workers on the ground in Minnesota have been able to give soldiers their test results within two hours. If a soldier tests positive, he or she is quarantined in the barracks for 14 days. If a soldier has been in contact with someone who tests positive, that person is put in a different set of barracks to quarantine for 14 days. The local dining facility delivers three meals a day to those in 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 by ensuring that the measures and guidelines were met."The test turnaround time exceeded expectations and helped things flow better," Stulz said.Prior to any testing, Coate and Stulz had to ensure that all the testing done was in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant. During testing, there was a collective force ensuring that every soldier’s results were uploaded to the medical records."The fruit of this experience was to hear from commanders and their thank-yous about being able to isolate those who are sick," Coate said.Related LinksArmy.mil: Worldwide NewsArmy Guidance on CoronavirusDefense.gov