The state's peak in April came mostly from widespread infections in New Orleans. Now the rest of Louisiana is surging, reports William Taylor Potter and Michael Stucka, Lafayette Daily Advertiser and USA TODAY.
With the support of Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), scientists at LSU Health Shreveport have established the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Laboratory to address the need for faster detection and processing of COVID-19 tests. The EVT Lab at LSUHS is the first in North Louisiana approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to conduct and analyze tests to determine if an individual has COVID-19. The EVT Lab is currently in operation and fully staffed as of March 25, 2020.
OUR MISSION is to serve the citizens of the state and diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 and then to become the region’s top surveillance lab for the detection of new viruses and other pathogens that could affect the health of citizens of the region and state.
“LSU Health Shreveport is proud to have nationally and internationally renowned NIH funded virologists on our faculty. Creation of the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) laboratory brings together numerous regional experts to provide urgently needed COVID-19 testing solutions while allowing our community and state to be prepared for future viral threats when they occur."
Chris Kevil, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research
The EVT Lab is working to obtain complete genome sequences of the viruses from samples in cooperation with nationwide and international efforts to better understand the virus, enable molecular epidemiology work, such as contact tracing, and to inform future vaccine efforts. LSU Health Shreveport is also the only academic center in Louisiana with this capability. The lab provides the same offerings as CDC testing locations and is working collaboratively with the World Health Organization and CDC-sanctioned testing labs, following the same testing criteria.
- Is the EVT Lab accredited?
- Do EVT Lab staff members have to follow personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines?
- What tests are the EVT Lab running?
- Who runs and works in the EVT Lab?
- What will the EVT Lab do after the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Does the EVT Lab test for anything besides COVID-19?
- I'm interested in obtaining data from the EVT Lab. Who should I contact?
- What are the dates for mobile COVID-19 test sites?
- How will I receive my test results?
- Who do I contact if I have a question about SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19?
- How do I get a test?
- Are tests available to the general public?
- How do I get my results?
- How quickly are test results received?
- Can the EVT Lab come to my business and do testing?
- I think I had COVID-19 previously but was not tested. How can I be tested for antibodies?
Chancellor Dr. G. E. Ghali spoke at the COVID-19 press conference about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Louisiana, the EVT Lab and testing in North Louisiana and the importance of wearing masks.
The Daily Beast reports, "Louisiana is getting pummeled by the virus. But without a comprehensive early testing program in Shreveport, it would have been worse still."
Griggs Enterprises and McDonald's has been providing lunch for several months. Their generosity during this time is so appreciated by our team members, who are working around the clock in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the formulation of an emerging viral threat lab to community testing, LSU Health Shreveport has actively fought COVID-19. Dr. Chris Kevil talks about testing, clinical trials and prevention.
Rick Rowe, KTBS-3 News, talks to EVT Lab scientists and researchers at LSUHS about the work they are doing that is saving lives.
Nextstrain reports new sequences from Belgium (19), Italy (12), Uganda (20) and the USA (95). The 95 new Louisiana sequences, provided by the LSUHS EVT Lab are shown together with older samples from Louisiana.
"The funding provided by the Committee of One Hundred is essential for the EVT Lab to continue the costly endeavor of conducting antibody/serology testing, making testing kits, and processing of COVID-19 tests,” shared Dr. G.E. Ghali.
“Our unique team of women made the vision for the EVT Lab a reality. They are the true beating heart of the lab,” said Andrew Yurochko, PhD “Without them, there is no way this would be possible. As a group, they have worked the longest and hardest hours. They are really the superheroes.”
The Lions Club District 8L received a grant from the Lions Club International Foundation that has resulted in a donation to the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Lab at LSU Health Shreveport.