Tracking the COVID Virus via Genomic Dashboards

As part of our response to the COVID pandemic, WSLH scientists have been performing genomic sequencing to track how the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID) changes over time.

As the virus replicates and makes copies of itself, changes in the genome called mutations are introduced. When a virus emerges with one or more new changes it is referred to as a variant of the original virus.

The WSLH launched two genomic dashboards to visually display these virus variants. Data in these dashboards includes genomic sequencing performed at the WSLH, as well as other laboratories and public health partners. Data is made publicly available after review and is compliant with Data-Sharing and Usage agreements.

The dashboards are part of the WSLH Data Portal, which allows people to explore accessible up to date information made available from public datasets. Data is transformed, linked, and visualized to increase clarity, reveal trends, simplify access, and promote overall information transparency. The plan is for additional dashboards to be added to the data portal in the future.

Dr. Kelsey Florek with the WSLH Communicable Disease Division developed the data portal and the SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Dashboard and collaborated with Dr. Adelaide Roguet with the WSLH Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Team, who created the SARS-CoV-2 Wastewater Genomic Dashboard.