The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine to Provide COVID-19 testing for the State of Connecticut

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Integral to our mission to improve human health, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is committed to helping address the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as rapidly as possible. We are applying our expertise in human genomics and mammalian genetics to support the quickly evolving public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic globally as well as in our local community. 

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, located in Farmington, is partnering with the Connecticut Department of Health, UConn Health and Hartford Hospital to provide the State with additional coronavirus testing capacity. 

We will utilize our expertise in genomic solutions and our Connecticut-licensed CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) and CAP accredited laboratory to test patient samples for a specific RNA signature unique to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. JAX’s participation in this effort will enable the State’s Department of Public Health to quickly ramp up its testing capabilities. This will serve two purposes: testing patients who have the virus and learning more about it for broader epidemiological purposes. Ultimately, this will enable the State to test more people, faster.

Call your doctor

Individuals seeking to be tested for COVID-19 should not come directly to The Jackson Laboratory, but instead call their doctor’s office or local hospital for guidance on where to go for testing.

JAX-GM does not collect patient samples or share test results directly with patients. Samples are collected at a pre-designated hospital. Patients should not come to JAX-GM to be tested for COVID-19.

What are The Jackson Laboratory's qualifications for testing for COVID-19?

In order to conduct COVID-19 diagnostic testing, a laboratory must be CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) licensed for high complexity testing. The JAX-GM diagnostic laboratory is CLIA licensed for high complexity testing by the state of Connecticut and is also accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), which ensures the laboratory is always up-to-date with the latest best practices in a variety of specialties, for example, molecular microbiology.

In 2013, JAX became a Connecticut-licensed and CLIA-registered clinical laboratory. CLIA regulates laboratory testing and requires clinical laboratories to be certified by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) before they can accept human samples for diagnostic testing. CLIA registration means that the lab is qualified to accept and process clinical samples of human cells and tissues for DNA testing.

What are the COVID-19 tests used for?

JAX’s CLIA Laboratory’s testing will detect RNA sequences specific to the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen.

What technology will be utilized?

JAX’s CLIA Laboratory will be utilizing an FDA-approved, real-time, reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) detection technology for the COVID-19 diagnostic testing.