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Energy Workers in the Permian First to Participate in COVID-19 Testing Pilot

April 13, 2020
Midland, TX

Even amid the COVID-19 outbreak, energy companies are still operating. That means many of their workers still report to the job site every day, building and maintaining critical infrastructure for the U.S. economy.

Much of that essential work is being done in remote regions of West Texas like the Permian Basin. But because of their rural locations, access to COVID-19 testing solutions isn't as easy to come by.

That's why RigUp has partnered with Houston-based digital health organization imaware™ to create a testing and screening solution for workers who still have to go out into the field every day.

"We think it's important that people have access to a step one approach, which is to determine through an online quiz if they've been exposed or have symptoms," says imawareTM Co-Founder Jani Tuomi.

Last week, the two companies launched the pilot program at job sites in the Midland/Odessa and San Angelo areas based on the need.

"We know that getting access to the testing isn't easy in more rural and remote areas, so we wanted to bring this to where the core of our workforce is, which is the Permian Basin, Midland/Odessa, and San Angelo areas," says RigUp Managing Director Leslie Elliott.

Workers who are flagged as at-risk after taking the online assessment will receive a nasal swab taken by a licensed medical professional that same day. Those tests are then sent to laboratory partners for processing. Finally, the results are sent back to the overseeing physician and patient within 72 hours.

RigUp is offering the screening solution to its workers for free as part of the pilot program.

"I think it's somewhat notable offering this for free to our workforce through our pilot phase and supporting them through that," says Elliott. "Hopefully it's something we'll be able to continue and build upon and offer to our workforce across the U.S. very quickly here."

The two companies tested about 150 people during the first week of the pilot program. They're expected to launch the screening tool to a large solar site this week, with about 500 additional people participating in the program.

Learn more about the pilot program here.

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