How Labs are responding to COVID 19 – Case of UW Lab

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As the Pacific Northwest’s flagship academic medical center and its largest safety-net provider, UW Medicine is playing a central role in Washington state’s clinical and public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a national role in research to understand, treat and prevent COVID-19.

The UW Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine has played a crucial and pivotal role: the UW Virology Lab quickly set up and scaled the first lab in Washington state capable of clinical COVID-19 tests, other than the state’s Public Health Laboratories. Given the overwhelming demand for testing, UW Medicine is working with the state’s lab to help reduce its backlog. In addition, UW Medicine is bringing these capabilities into the community, testing first responders, healthcare workers, and the public.


Our most urgent need is to rapidly expand testing. The degree and speed with which we ramp up testing could have enormous impact on how the pandemic plays out within our State. UW Medicine is currently the lead testing facility for the state, and local and state officials as well as other healthcare providers are relying on our ability to scale. The degree and speed with which we bridge this gap could have an enormous impact on how the pandemic plays out within our state.

Our modern health system has never experienced this level of strain for such an extended period. In this instance, we are responding to a situation that could last for months, and we need funding to support expanded staff and equipment for the UW Virology Lab.

What is your lab doing to respond to COVID19?

This article first appeared on University of Washington Website.

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