Maryland to expand screening capacity for Covid-19 variants with UMd., Hopkins partnership

Maryland has formed a new partnership with two local health systems to expand the state’s capacity to test for more contagious variants of Covid-19, Gov. Larry Hogan announced during a press conference Tuesday.

Cases of the U.K., South African and Brazilian variants –– named for the countries in which they were first discovered –– have all been identified in Maryland in recent weeks. While the state’s public health lab was already using sequencing to carry out limited and targeted testing for the variants, the partnership with the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Johns Hopkins will allow Maryland to screen and sequence over 10% of all Covid-19 cases.

The expanded capacity creates “one of the strongest surveillance programs in America,” Hogan said.

He added that guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest testing 10% of cases to identify and trace the variants, and that currently the federal government tests about 3% of cases. Hogan said Maryland…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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