Coronavirus Variant Sequencing (CORVASEQ)
The NC Policy Collaboratory is working to build a streamlined surveillance network of SARS-CoV-2 variants across the state. The project is funded by a $15,000,000 Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) grant from the CDC to the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
After the NC General Assembly appropriated the ELC funds, CORonavirus VAriant SEQencing (CORVASEQ) was formed. The team is under the guidance of DHHS and is led by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill: Dirk Dittmer, director of the UNC Vironomics Core and member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Amir Barzin, medical director for the UNC Health Virtual Care services and leader of the Carolina Together Testing Program and Audrey Pettifor, professor in department of epidemiology in the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. In addition to UNC-Chapel Hill, the CORVASEQ team consists of following institutions: Atrium Health, Duke University, East Carolina University, HCA Healthcare, Novant Health, UNC-Charlotte, the VA System, Vidant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health.
Through this network of institutions, it is possible to capture samples from all 100 counties, and to genetically sequence positive COVID-19 tests. After sequencing, the information about the variant of concern will be sent to DHHS to provide accurate tracking of those variants across the state.