RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The commonwealth has announced bolstered efforts towards expanding its public health COVID-19 testing capacity.
The Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services have established the OneLab Network to create a coordinated coronavirus lab testing system.
As a part of this program, contracts were awarded to Virginia Tech, University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, and Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk in an effort to invest in the future response to pandemics and other public health threats by establishing a structure for collaboration.
The state is currently utilizing private vendors to add help with laboratory capacity.
“We have said all along that it will take everyone working together to control the spread of COVID-19, and the OneLab Network does that by bringing together Virginia’s strong public health system with our clinical hospital and university lab partners to provide priority testing across the commonwealth,” added Governor Ralph Northam. “We have come a long way in increasing our COVID-19 testing capabilities over the past several months, and the new OneLab Network will help ensure public health has continued access to high-quality testing and prompt results.”
The network has a goal of being able to perform 7,000 tests per day by the end of the year.
“The OneLab Network laboratories selected are positioned geographically within the state to provide rapid test results in their regions,” explains the Virginia Department of Health. "Timely data is critical for prompt public health control measures, especially in high-risk congregate settings and communities across Virginia.