UVA Health develops new coronavirus tests

UVA Health develops new coronavirus tests
UVA Health Laboratory’s efforts came due to a severe national shortage of critical reagents needed for the tests. (Source: WDBJ)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - The University of Virginia (UVA) Health will be administering coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.

UVA Health Laboratory’s efforts came due to a severe national shortage of critical reagents needed for the tests.

Basic research laboratories in the Health System and across the University received calls to find needed reagents and technology.

The university says it received an immediate outpouring of donations that enabled UVA Health to develop its own testing and deploy it much sooner than having to wait on commercial supply chains.

The new testing capability allows UVA Health to more broadly and immediately advance its service to the public during this crisis and will provide health officials a better idea of the spread of COVID-19 in the Charlottesville area.

“This was truly a remarkable team effort across the entire institution at an incredibly challenging time,” Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. K. Craig Kent said. “It was amazing to see how swiftly everyone rose to the challenge and made this happen in order to serve the community during this time of need. As someone new to UVA Health, I’m extremely proud of our team and thankful for the support across the University.”

The increase in area testing as a result of the development of the tests is likely to result in a spike in the number of positive cases in the coming days.

A major limitation of understanding the spread of the virus to date has been the lack of available testing. UVA is now one of the few institutions across the country that has engineered its own test so that the diagnosis can be more readily made.

Testing had begun on Wednesday.

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