The JABSOM Tropical Medicine Clinical (TMC) Laboratory was established in April 2020 to support Hawaiʻi COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. As part of a public university, the laboratory aims to:
- Focus in particular on serving homeless and uninsured individuals that face unique barriers to accessing COVID-19 testing.
- Augment existing in-state testing capacity to respond to COVID-19 surge periods and support rapid contact tracing and isolation of infected individuals.
- Integrate diagnostic testing and research to develop less invasive and more cost effective approaches to COVID-19 testing.
- Identify patterns and levels of COVID-19 exposure through broad population antibody testing and other methods to inform efficient and specific policy responses.
A robust testing program will serve as the backbone of an effective coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic response strategy for many months to come. Establishing widespread testing, tracking, and isolating of COVID-19 cases is a critical next step in any plans to gradually loosen social isolation policies while also safeguarding public health.
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