Richland lab offers COVID-19 variant testing

RICHLAND, Wash. – It’s been a busy six months for Tomorrow’s Health in Richland.

Brent House, the Owner and CEO said they opened in the midst of the pandemic to offer speedier and accurate COVID-19 test results.

“Having a test where you can get a result within one day, two days is much more useful,” House said.

While COVID-19 testing isn’t the only service they offer, it’s been their focus.

As variants of the virus have increased, the lab decided to offer genetic sequencing on patients’ samples to look for COVID-19 variants.

Technical Director Sashka Zungul said they’ve ran tests on breakthrough cases or people who’ve gotten the virus multiple times.

“Being able to track it and provide that information to public health officials and see how they can use it to further research, it’s wonderful information to be able to share and have,” she said.

Both experts said we can learn a lot from the genetic makeup of COVID-19.

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“It can guide vaccine development; ‘okay well you know, you’ve got your vaccination, you need a booster next year, well what are the variants circulating at the time?'” House theorized.

He added, the humane genome could also hold the explanation as to why some people are COVID-19 long-haulers and others, were asymptomatic.

“How quickly? I don’t know because the human genome is huge. These folks must have certain genetics that predispose them to a serious infection by this virus,” House said.

But, he went on, if we’re able to map out genes in an accessible and relatively quick way, it could be a game changer for someone’s health or a future outbreak.

“Knowledge is power so if somebody knows that they can say ‘hey I’m gonna be even more careful,'” House said.

“We can come together as a scientific community and health community to fight that frontline,” Zungul added.

House hopes one day they’re able to offer affordable genetic mapping to personalize a health plan for any patient.

The Richland lab also offers direct-to-consumer testing, where anyone who thinks they may need a certain lab test done, can order it through Tomorrow’s Health, instead of first visiting their doctor.