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Olive Labs Inc. Announces Partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks to Scale COVID Response through Pooled Testing in K-12 Schools

Olive Labs Inc. of Ferndale, MI has partnered with Concentric by Ginkgo to support America’s K-12 schools by offering PCR testing in Michigan.

FERNDALE, Mich.March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Olive Labs announced  their partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo to provide a scalable, accessible, and simple testing modality for COVID-19 – pooled testing – to serve schools operating hybrid or in-person learning. Olive Labs Inc. is a women- and minority-owned high complexity CLIA laboratory in Ferndale, Michigan which serves businesses, long-term care facilities and individuals to provide accurate, 24-hour-turnaround COVID-19 testing. Concentric by Ginkgo is the public health and biosecurity effort at Ginkgo Bioworks, the organism company, and its goal is to provide easy, affordable pooled testing to every school in America. Concentric currently runs testing in over 15 states, with over 800 schools signed up for testing.

Pooled classroom testing, which combines swabs from all consenting individuals in a classroom and runs them as a single test, can significantly increase testing capacity and lower the cost of testing programs. As more and more schools work to support in-person learning environments, communities across the country have turned to routine COVID-19 testing to monitor the virus. In recent days, the Biden Administration has announced billions of dollars of funding to support this testing, which can help interrupt potential chains of transmission and provide confidence to students, teachers, staff, and school communities.

Olive Labs is pleased to be chosen as a partner for this important project,” says Founder and CEO Heather Heine, MD PhD. “Right now there is a lot of uncertainty for children. Having them participate in this simple pooled testing process, whereby they swab themselves inside their lower nostrils with teacher supervision, gives them a sense of empowerment and engages them in the science that’s involved. Every child now has a chance to be part of the solution.”

“For the past year,” adds Heather Heine, “millions of parents and teachers have been struggling. Children being unable to attend school has affected young people’s mental health and scholastic progress. It also affects family economics: if a class is shut down, then parents can’t go to work. We cannot afford to have kids out of school much longer.  It is time for us to take action with large-scale routine testing and help get our kids back into school as soon as possible.”

Olive Labs Inc. is committed to high-quality PCR testing, which is generally considered the most accurate form of COVID-19 testing available. Olive Labs also distinguishes itself with 24-hour turnaround times, unusual in the laboratory industry. The laboratory has helped thousands of individuals receive prompt, reliable COVID-19 test results throughout the pandemic. Olive Labs has also scaled its testing equipment and has the capacity to potentially test all the schools in the state.

Olive Labs has chosen reLIMS as their lab information management system. “We at reLIMS are excited about working closely with Olive Labs and Ginkgo Bioworks to ensure that this pooled student testing becomes prevalent across the nation and helps to bring our children back into the classrooms for their social and academic development,” says Anita Manwani, Founder & CEO of reLIMS.

“Ginkgo, reLIMS and Olive Labs are all founded and led by women,” adds Heather Heine. “This is also an exciting aspect of what we are doing.”

To learn more about Concentric by Ginkgo or to get your school district involved, head over to concentricbyginkgo.com.

About Olive Labs Inc.
Olive Labs Inc. is a diagnostics COVID-19 testing laboratory based in Ferndale, Michigan. This CLIA certified laboratory meets the highest possible federal standards and provides accurate, reliable testing services with a 24-hour turnaround time. Clients include medical professionals, travellers needing pre-flight testing, long-term care homes, and businesses conducting routing testing for their employees. For more information, visit www.olivelabs.us.

About Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.
Concentric by Ginkgo is Ginkgo Bioworks’ public health and biosecurity effort. Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to grow better products. The company’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also actively supporting a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine development and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.

Media Contact
press@ginkgobioworks.com

SOURCE Olive Labs Inc.

Related Links https://www.olivelabs.us/

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