START Coalition to test effectiveness of UV lighting to combat coronavirus

Monday, August 17, 2020

Researchers from the START Coalition continue to ramp up their efforts to find alternative ways to fight COVID-19 and make public places safer as people return to work.

Stephen Prescott, M.D., president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), is leading a team of experts from across the United States studying how to better create COVID-safe communities. Oklahoma City, Birmingham, Ala. and Cambridge, Mass. are the three test cities researchers will use to study the effectiveness of a variety of preventative measures planned.

“We hope to be an example for other similar-sized cities,” Prescott said. “We will share the data collected to allow other cities the option to choose the methods that worked here and disregard the ones that failed.”

In Oklahoma City, the START Coalition’s network includes OMRF and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. With their medical partnership, the two are custom-designing studies for the unique attributes of the Oklahoma City population. Lessons learned and data sharing with state and national partners will be a priority in the coming months.

“COVID-19 allows us to work together to pioneer approaches that will save lives and restore our economy,” Prescott said. “Our initial discussions have been how we can sensibly and safely reopen from a scientific basis. Our coalition is broad and we talk about projects with insight from leading experts in diverse fields.”

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