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As the states of California, Oregon and Washington begin strategizing on their regional plan to re-open their economies and control the future spread of COVID-19, a crucial question remains: How can businesses ensure their employees remain virus-free now and in the future?

For the thousands of western U.S. businesses seeking to safely bring their employees back to work, and tens of thousands of residents who desperately want and need to return to their jobs, a robust supply of COVID-19 tests, coupled with a systematic COVID-19 testing strategy supported by evidence-based guidelines will be key to success.

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When Dr. Joanne Weidhaas lost their family's orange Tabby cat named Pumpkin, to a "weird coronavirus" three years ago, the RNA biologist threw herself into a month-long study of it. She wanted to get to the bottom of what had happened.

So once this novel coronavirus pandemic hit, Weidhaas realized she was strangely well-equipped for research and testing.

"This (new coronavirus) comes along and, I mean, we've done all the research on it, and I sit down with the head of my lab (and) we just said 'we can actually really do that,'" Weidhaas said. "We have all the equipment, we have the expertise, we're a high-complexity molecular diagnostics lab, which is exactly poised to look at this."

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