At a press conference held today with Governor Lamont at the The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for Genomic Medicine, JAX announced it will partner with UConn Health, the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH), and Hartford HealthCare to provide additional coronavirus diagnostic testing capacity for Connecticut residents beginning the week of Monday, March 23.
Integral to its mission to improve human health, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is committed to helping address the coronavirus outbreak as rapidly as possible. To support the quickly evolving public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JAX-GM), located on the UConn Health campus in Farmington CT, is partnering with UConn Health, DPH and Hartford HealthCare to provide the State with significant additional coronavirus diagnostic testing capacity beginning the week of Monday, March 23.
This additional testing capacity will both allow DPH to diagnose patients who have the virus, and will allow researchers to learn more about the virus for broader epidemiological purposes. Ultimately, this will enable the state of Connecticut to test more people, faster.
“The state of Connecticut is the bridge until federal support comes through,” said Governor Lamont. “This is a team effort and we are working as a team and our healthcare system, the hospitals, and bioscientists are the quarterback of this team to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. The partnership with UConn Health, Jackson Labs and Hartford Healthcare is the type of partnership that will get us through this.”
“As a university medical system we are very very proud to be partnered with Jackson Laboratories on our campus at UConn Health here in Farmington,” said Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, CEO of UConn Health and EVP for Health Affairs, “We are thrilled that Jackson Laboratories is going forward with testing COVID-19 patients. It’s critical that we bring on as many sources of testing as possible. It is amazing that in Connecticut we have an organization like Jackson Laboratories that is able to do this work because it is not just going to be testing today, its about research tomorrow on COVID-19 and other similar challenges we have. In partnership with this wonderful research organization I want to say thank you to leadership of Jackson Laboratories for being such an asset in Connecticut’s fight against this pandemic.”
Dr. Bruce Liang, dean of the UConn School of Medicine is pleased and excited to be part of this new initiative. “ The availability of testing of COVID-19 provides a much needed source for testing of our patients and healthcare workers,” said Liang. “We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with our longstanding partner JAX in this new initiative to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Knowing who has the virus particularly those who are most vulnerable will be decisive in monitoring and care,” Liang continues. “Equally important is the need for prevention of exposure to others. UConn Health has been at the forefront of treating suspected and known COVID-19 patients, we have implemented all the safety measures and are making preparations for any surge. Knowing which of our patients have the case, a reliable test with quick turnaround time being implemeneted here would be lifesaving. Once again we are eager to collaborate with Jax and with other hospitals such as Hartford Healthcare to bring the best possible care to our community.”
UConn Health has recently opened a COVID-19 Call Center to address any questions and concerns related to coronavirus. The Call Center is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and is available to employees, patients, students, and the community. The number for the Call Center is 860-679-3199.