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Ensure state testing lab is adequate

West Virginians suspected of having contracted COVID-19 — the “coronavirus” — will have their tests processed in Charleston, rather than by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gov. Jim Justice revealed.

Justice said state testing will be conducted at the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Public Health Laboratory. That will allow officials “to respond even faster” if COVID-19 cases are identified in West Virginia, the governor said.

It should speed up state efforts against the disease, if it comes here. But equipment and personnel at the state lab could be a weak link.

If they are not capable of handling a crush of COVID-19 tests, state officials should provide supplementary funding for the lab. COVID-19 is viewed by many as a serious threat. West Virginians should not have to endure delays in finding out whether the virus has come to our state.

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