CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A San Diego company wants to convert shipping containers into COVID-19 testing labs by the thousands. In this Zevely Zone, I visited TPT Med Tech's manufacturing center in Chula Vista for a drive through demonstration.
TPT Med Tech is a global technology company that allowed me to simulate two tests they say will be available to the public soon. The company which is headquartered in San Diego is hoping to change the game on COVID-19 testing not only in San Diego but across the globe.
I was not tested for antibodies or COVID-19 for this story because the company is still waiting for final oversight approval.
Consumers will download the company's mobile app, then drive to a testing site called a "Quik Lab." Consumers will stay in their car while technicians in the mobile laboratories conduct the testing.
The antibody test requires a finger to be pricked with results returned in just minutes. For the COVID-19 test, technicians will perform a mouth swab. Those results come back in about three or four hours.
The company said their Quik Lab testing kits will be FDA approved. The tests cost between $75 and $135. The results are sent directly to your phone.
"The hard thing with the world right now is to try to find out who has had the disease and who currently has it," said Rick Eberhardt, the company's executive vice president.
Eberhardt said the idea of converting shipping containers into mobile labs was born just 70 days ago.
"We are in the middle of a pandemic, there is no right or wrong thing to do. Everybody is trying out new ideas [and] this is just a new idea that we think is a very stellar idea to help the world," Eberhardt said.
The company has plans to start building 800 Quik Labs a month.
"We are getting responses from all over the United States; from Chicago to Miami to Houston," said Stephen Thomas, who is the CEO of TPT Global Tech.
Thomas plans on shipping Quik Labs across the US, Europe and Latin America and reminded us the units are mobile.
"So they can be moved from hot spot to hot spot as these things creep up around the United States or internationally for that matter," said Thomas.
As for large sporting events and schools, TPT Med Tech is offering another solution. The company is also selling booths called "Sani Quiks" for about $25,000 each.
The booths can be placed at the entrances of businesses, sporting events, concerts and schools. When people enter the booths, they are asked to cleanse their hands with hand sanitizer.
A computer then verifies that they are wearing a mask. Once a mask is verified, your temperature is checked. If your temperature checks out without a fever, you will be asked to proceed to a disinfection area where you will be sprayed with a sanitation mist all over your body. The mist is hypochlorous acid which the company says is a non-toxic germ killer.
As for the Quik Labs, "Our goal is to make thousands of them," said Eberhardt.
When COVID-19 eventually dies down, the company plans on using the labs to test for the flu and ongoing medical needs.
"They are not going to disappear; it's not only a COVID-19 testing facility," said Eberhardt. "We are happy to be a benefit to fellow Californians."
TPT Med Tech plans to open its "Quik Labs" to the public soon. For more information, visit the TPT Med Tech website here.