06 April 2020 – Virginia using genetic technology to track virus changes and provide transmission insights

Type of Intervention: Guidance, New Tool / Service / Body
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Research and development
Level of Jurisdiction: Virginia
Lead People/Agency: Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia Department of Public Health (VDPH), Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and international public health and university partners

Overview: The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) is using next-generation sequencing to genetically decode some Virginia samples that contain the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Looking at this genetic fingerprint can help public health officials track how the virus is changing and provide insights into how it is being transmitted.
Full details here: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2020/april/headline-855959-en.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee, Scientific Evidence (e.g. academic paper, report)
Source of Evidence or Justification: National – academic, National – government, International – academic, International – government
Evidence/Justification: “Providing this information in real-time is unbelievably valuable for public health officials as they determine how to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our communities.”