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Staff report

Quest Diagnostics will attempt to identify new mutations of SARS-CoV-2—which causes COVID-19—as part of an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the medical information company announced in a news release.

The studies will be done at the company’s lab in San Juan Capistrano, using viral genomes of random de-identified samples.

“Public and private collaboration is essential to mobilizing an effective response to COVID-19,” Jay G. Wohlgemuth, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, said in the news release. “Quest has the expertise in genomics and infectious diseases, as well as extensive COVID-19 testing data and access to patient samples.”

The sequencing results will reportedly be combined with the results of other data provided to the CDC as part of a CDC survey, which intends to identify changes in transmission and new virus variants.

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