Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Increases with COVID-19 Testing

eTrueNorth coordinating genomic sequencing to identify COVID-19 variants

By now, most everyone understands the growing concerns of the variants to the COVID-19 virus. These include the B.1.1.7 variant (commonly referred to as the UK variant), the B.1.429 variant (commonly referred to as the California variant) and the B.1.351 variant (commonly referred to as the South Africa variant).

Understanding where these variants are present in the US is critical. eTrueNorth is increasingly more involved in NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) testing as identification of variants has implications in transmission of the disease.

On Feb. 17, 2021, during a White House Briefing, Carole Johnson, the COVID Response Team Testing Coordinator, announced the investment the Federal Government is making to rapidly expand genomic sequencing to identify, track, and stop the COVID-19 variants.

As Ms. Johnson explained, “Essentially, genomic sequencing is the process that tells us which COVID variants are in the country. And this surge in funding will result in a threefold increase in CDC’s genomic sequencing capacity to get us to 25,000 samples a week. As a result, we’ll identify COVID variants sooner and better target our efforts to stop the spread. We’re quickly infusing targeted resources here because the time is critical when it comes to these fast-moving variants.”

eTrueNorth is a part of the solution given the Federal Government emphasis on variant testing. We hope to significantly contribute to the analysis of variant existence and tracking as we can provide timing analysis of this second laboratory test.

As a nation, we need to understand if the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve and what affect the widely known variants are having today. Additional testing and data analysis is critical to helping prevent future spread and evaluation of treatment options.

The COVID-19 vaccine has certainly created a sense of optimism in the nation. Cities beginning to ease restrictions and schools are having discussions on reopening. COVID-19 cases are down nationally. This is all great news. However, as a nation we need to stay vigilant toward COVID-19 testing. As a nation, the public-private partnership can work together to identify variants and understand spread.

eTrueNorth is committed to understanding this evolving virus. We have the processes in place to help with today’s testing needs and can provide the population health data analysis to help the nation understand variants.

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By leveraging the accessibility of retail pharmacies, eTrueNorth expands the scope of services provided to consumers to be more effective and higher quality and, at the same time, enhance the pharmacy’s value as a key participant in a multidisciplinary health care delivery model. Let’s talk about how we can partner together to improve healthcare.