The Texas Department of State Health Services is partnering with universities and laboratories across Texas to expand genomic sequencing of the virus that causes COVID-19. The new Texas SARS-CoV-2 Variant Network will sequence and study more COVID-19 samples from around the state to provide a better picture of circulating and emerging variants of the COVID-19 virus. The Network is expected to increase current sequencing in Texas by at least 25 percent.

DSHS has contracted with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) School of Public Health to coordinate with academic centers and commercial laboratories from around the state. UTHealth School of Public Health will also collaborate with the Meyers Lab at UT Austin to develop reliable strategies for selecting samples from around the state to ensure novel and existing variants in Texas are identified. This project is supported by Texas’ Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases grant through May 2023.