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Appalachia Health News tells the story of our health challenges and how we overcome them throughout the region. 

WVU Among Those Working To Develop Coronavirus Test

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West Virginia University
Clay Marsh, WVU Health Sciences Vice President and Executive Dean

Work is underway in West Virginia to develop tests for coronavirus. 

Clay Marsh, WVU Health Sciences Vice President and Executive Dean, said several entities, including WVU, are in the process of developing their own test for the disease. 

“We’re not necessarily trying to replace anybody,” he said. “We’re just trying to add to the ability to test more people, more quickly.” 

Roche, the first commercial lab that received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for their coronavirus test last Thursday started shipping out more than 400,000 tests to 30 labs around the country this week. 

On their website, Roche said they “worked with the government to develop a strategy that prioritizes labs with the broadest geographic reach and highest patient impact. These labs also have the ability to implement high-volume testing immediately.”

West Virginia is not included in the initial group. 

Marsh said of course it would be easier to utilize a test that has already been approved, but that it may end up being faster to make up one from scratch that the state can have ready access to.

“We will bring the test that’s the most convenient, the quickest, to serve our population,” he said.

In a press conference Monday, commissioner for public health Dr. Cathy Slemp said West Virginia likely would not be prioritized for supplies because until yesterday, the state was the last one without a confirmed case. 

 

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.


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