Application of rapid-screening capabilities could prove invaluable to communities across the United States
In an effort to further mitigate risk from the novel coronavirus to critical health-care workers and the community, a Kansas City-area health system has deployed Black & Veatch’s first portable Rapid Modular Health System (RaMHS) structure. But there’s broader potential for the RaMHS system as demand for rapid deployment, plug-and-play COVID-19 screening sites rises from workplaces or government facilities – where speed and safety are critical to restoring operations.
The uniquely adaptable RaMHS, which provides an alternate testing site outside of traditional emergency room or doctor office settings, could give business and government leaders an effective tool to help return-to-office efforts. RaMHS units can be deployed at health-care sites, office parks, government locations, commercial and industrial businesses, and retail locations to provide reliable, affordable coronavirus screening sites on-site within days. Identifying potential risk factors outside of high-traffic, primary workspaces can reduce the spread of the virus, as well as other pathogens such as the flu virus.
Developed by Black & Veatch – a global infrastructure leader with vast experience in pathogen-tracking methods and the construction of biological safety-related facilities – the RaMHS units are scalable, intermodal containers transformed into comfortable sites for COVID-19 screening and other diagnostic purposes. These windowed, 20- or 40-foot modules are powered by electricity directly from the grid or a generator, and the weather-resistant, lockable space provides security for personnel and equipment in any environment.
The climate-controlled modules are designed with negative pressure isolation systems and both HEPA and ultraviolet germicidal filters to remove 99.984 percent of particulates 0.3 microns or greater in size, and they can be quickly daisy-chained to meet community and regional demands. Screening of professionals returning to work can be done in a facility removed from primary office setting and in conjunction with other personal protective gear, this design can reduce exposure risks.
“Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global community, the ongoing efforts to flatten the virus’ curve and minimize risks to the health-care system, it’s crucial to get alternative testing and screening facilities set up quickly,” said Randy Castro, president of Black & Veatch’s federal business and the former commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ South Atlantic Division. “With offices in roughly 100 countries, we have the scale, experience and networking power to work with hospital systems, governments, both state and local, and businesses looking to deploy RaMHS sites now and in anticipation of future needs.”
The RaMHS program follows the recent announcement of Black & Veatch’s Growth Accelerator incubator to find and collaborate with startups and other innovators to expedite solutions that soften COVID-19’s impact. As a virtual, remote effort, the 2020 Black & Veatch IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator already is engaging companies and entrepreneurs who have real-time ideas about how to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak but who need help commercializing, rapidly deploying and scaling those concepts.
- For more information about the “Rapid Modular Health System,” click here.
- The rollout of the RaMHS containers amplifies Black & Veatch’s innovation in addressing biologically and medically dangerous threats. Through the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Biological Threat Reduction Program, for example, the company already has been providing infectious disease surveillance and biological sample management to more than 20 countries around the globe.
- Black & Veatch developed the Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) in Odessa, Ukraine, as part of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Biological Threat Reduction Program.
- Black & Veatch has supported DTRA in the implementation of an electronic system that enables the inventory and management of biological materials at Kruger National Park in South Africa to help prevent and control animal diseases.
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries by addressing the resilience and reliability of our world's most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2019 were US$3.7 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
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