Only eight US states have genetically sequenced more than 1% of their total coronavirus cases during the pandemic, compared to a national average just under 0.4%, according to data updated late Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Hawaii (2.7%)
- Maine (2.3%)
- Washington (2.2%)
- Wyoming (2.1%)
- Utah (1.6%)
- Oregon (1.3%)
- New Mexico (1.0%)
- New York (1.0%).
Meanwhile, 18 states have sequenced less than 0.1% of their confirmed cases.
The states with the highest raw numbers of sequences are Texas, with more than 15,500; California, with more than 13,000; and New York, with nearly 8,500. Six states report fewer than 100 sequences each.
These numbers come from sequences in a publicly accessible database from January 2020 to present, and may not represent the full number of samples that have been analyzed.
US labs have submitted 99,000 sequences of the coronavirus – less than 0.4% of its total cases -- to a genomics database known as GISAID. In comparison, the UK has submitted nearly 220,000 -- just over 5.5% of its total cases.
The US has been ramping up its sequencing efforts and is on track to process at least 7,000 samples per week, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. But more sequencing is needed to track the spread of variants across the country.
“Once we have more sequencing that's happening, we'll have a better idea as to how many variants there are and what proportion are out there,” Walensky said during a White House briefing Monday.
Experts have previously told CNN that the US should aim to sequence 5% to 10% of cases, in line with sequencing efforts in the UK. Given cases over the past seven days, this would amount to roughly 38,000 to 76,000 sequences in a week.