A state lab in Tennessee has added the ability to run its own genome sequencing analyses of SARS-CoV-2 samples, the Tennessean reports.
Previously, it says, SARS-CoV-2 sequencing in the state was limited to university and private labs. But beginning in July, a state lab has implemented its own sequencing tools and can currently process 75 to 90 SARS-CoV-2 samples per week, with plans to ramp that number up into the hundreds, the Tennessean adds.
It notes that the ability to sequence SARS-CoV-2 samples is giving Tennessee a better idea of which variants are circulating in the state. "By doing more sequencing, we're better able to look at those variants emerging in almost real time," Kara Levinson, the deputy director of the lab, tells the Tennessean. "So, it's certainly key to being able to kind of predict where this virus might be heading."
Tennessee, the paper adds, is reporting an average 7,400 new COVID-19 cases per day, down from an average 9,450 new cases per day a few days ago.