90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

AdventHealth Scientists Are Testing Patient Samples for COVID-19 Variants Including Florida Ones

Photo: Mufid Majnun


Geneticists at AdventHealth in Central Florida are working with California-based genomics company Helix to test patients for COVID-19 variants. So far, some 1,000 patients who had already signed up for a standard PCR COVID-19 test with the hospital system have been tested.

AdventHealth’s Genomics Director Dr. Wesley Walker says saliva samples from patients are being collected and sequenced for known variants like the UK variant. 

He says knowing the prevalence of these variants will help state and local officials plan for the next phase of the COVID public health response.

“If you’ve got something that’s spreading potentially faster. You’re going to be able to predict that there will probably be, there may be more infections and so you can plan for that. So I think there’s a planning function.”

And although they’re not ready to release the data yet, Walker expects they will also find local Florida variants as the virus continues to mutate. 

“It will be looking for different variants local as well as again the UK, Brazil and others. Again, we don’t have the results back, but that’s exactly what we’re going to be looking at.”

Walker says there are currently some 330 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at AdventHealth’s Central Florida hospitals.

He says this is a downtrend trend in cases, but that the rate at which cases have been decreasing has slowed.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

TOP