Peter McGrath owner/creative director of ZaP Ink Studios, a themed entertainment experience design firm, and Monty Lunde, Co-Founder/CEO of Technifex, a technical show systems fabricator, are thinking ahead to fill a need. They have joined forces to design and fabricate COVID-19 mobile drive-through test and vaccination labs to easily roll into temporary locations, globally, supplying coronavirus testing and/or vaccinations.
Designed as pop-out trailers to meet Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratory environment standards, these custom drive-through or walk-up labs will provide the necessary safety separations needed to protect healthcare staff from asymptomatic or infected patients, while providing a valuable resource to service communities. With a maximum capacity of 3,456 tests/inoculations per lab per day for drive through labs (six cars with four persons per car every 10 minutes), and 1,728 tests/inoculations per lab per day for walk-up labs (12 booths, 10 minutes per individual and subsequent disinfecting), the labs can be temporarily positioned in parking lots and scaled up as needed. As exterior based medical staff administer tests or provide inoculations, the interior lab staff process the samples for immediate results.
“Currently there is a demand for testing centers, but we need to ramp up now to meet the even larger anticipated demands when a vaccine is developed. In the U.S., more than 300 million people may need to be inoculated very quickly,” emphasizes Monty Lunde, CEO of Technifex. “Working with the major trailer manufactures such as Kentucky Trailer and Craftsmen Industries, we can convert existing trailers with labs into COVID-19 BSL-2 mobile testing labs in about 4 to 6 weeks, however, there are only a handful of available trailers currently and new orders will take 3-4 months. Time is of the essence.” Duf Sundheim, Technifex’s Director of Strategy and legal counsel, has presented the plans and diagrams for consideration for mass deployment with the assistance of California Forward, a bipartisan non-profit organization working with Governor Gavin Newsom’s office to help with California’s recovery efforts from COVID-19.
As an experience designer, Peter McGrath is familiar with finding solutions to creative and operational challenges, especially for attractions that involve processing a large amount of people in an orderly manner. By adapting theme park planning principles such as throughput, onboard and off-board processes, queuing, capacity and scale, Peter was easily able to identify and develop a solution to testing thousands of individuals for COVID-19 using mobile labs. “I’m very much a Renaissance thinker where I look to combine industries to see a broader viewpoint, which is why I reached out to Monty Lunde as a partner. He is a leader in his (themed entertainment) industry developing technical systems for theme parks and applies the same skillset to his work developing training systems for the defense industry,” remarks Peter McGrath, Owner of ZaP Ink Studios. “Technifex is the perfect partner for this project.”
Small manufacturers across the country are stepping up and finding ways to contribute to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Such is the case with multiple themed entertainment suppliers and fabricators who have put their engineers and fabrication shops to work churning out masks, face shields, gowns, masks and even a new prototype for a COVID-19 ventilator. “I am so proud of our industry and the collaborative nature of fellow themed entertainment suppliers, all looking to find solutions for the COVID-19 challenge we are all facing,” emphasizes Monty Lunde.