Humboldt County Public Health Lab will soon be able to do genomic sequencing on local Covid-19 samples

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM) — The Humboldt County Public Health laboratory will soon be able to conduct its own genetic sequencing of local Covid-19 samples.

The lab is currently able to process Covid-19 tests, but when it comes to genomic sequencing, the County sends any viable samples to CZ Biohub in the Bay Area. Having this capacity in County will help speed up that process and increase response time. Genetic sequencing is vital in helping identify variants of concern circulating in the local community.

“You know, just having that capacity here and having the ability to prioritize samples if we have an outbreak, and we want to run those right away, will allow us to be more responsive. It has other applications as well, for other viruses, other infectious diseases,” according to Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman.

Dr. Hoffman is hopeful sequencing at the lab should be up and running later this month or in the early part of June.