In support of Oklahoma’s COVID-19 response, a group of OU students created a website to provide information about COVID-19 testing in Oklahoma.
According to their website, in early June, three OU students and a recent OU graduate decided to create a website that provides a comprehensive map of testing sites in Oklahoma and other important COVID-19 resources.
Public health and microbiology senior Anshule Takyar said the idea for the website came from a conversation and a passion for public health.
“We noticed that there wasn't a place for Oklahomans to go to find resources about (COVID-19) that was simple,” Takyar said. “So we were just like, ‘Can we do something so that Oklahomans can have one place where they can go to access all the information they need and find their local testing center?’ So that a little bit of the stress and burden from this pandemic is eased.”
The interactive map lists all current public, nonprofit and private facilities in Oklahoma that offer COVID-19 testing. Users can click on testing site locations to see testing times, contact information, insurance coverage and cost.
“One of the things that we sought after for this project was to provide Oklahomans the convenience of having this website serve as a one-stop resource shop to where they can see our interactive directory map that we’ve featured on the site,” economics and sociology senior Andrew Kim said.
Community health and letters-constitutional studies senior Ananya Bhaktaram said the group wanted to consolidate the information they were seeing across multiple platforms into one, accessible website.
“We were seeing that while the county health department and the community health centers had their own variations of lists or maps, they weren't comprehensive,” Bhaktaram said.
“What we would like to do is create a community-based network in which we can get feedback from the community and see what the community's needs are and add on as we hear what Oklahomans really want and need,” Bhaktaram said.
The website also gives users access to COVID-19 resources, including information on going back to work, healthcare, education and more.
Takyar said the overload of information regarding COVID-19 can be overwhelming, and he hopes the website can provide relief.
“I think definitely, at a point, it's almost a mental health effort,” Takyar said. “Because (resources) are all in different places, and they're all being updated constantly — people don't know where to find them. So hopefully with this, we make this information accessible.”
According to Takyar, the group continues to look for ways to improve the site, such as creating a Spanish version of the website to make it accessible to more Oklahomans.
“It was a lot of trial and error,” Takyar said. “The website is still a work in progress. We just uploaded a new comprehensive list of resources this week. So, we're always trying to update and improve ourselves, and … get input from the community.”