Event Details

PHO Microbiology Rounds: Implementation and Application of Next Generation Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in B.C.

Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory (BCCDC PHL) was sequencing at a throughput of 24 samples per week. During the peak of COVID-19 in B.C., the throughput was 1500 samples per week. This presentation will provide an overview of how the BCCDC ramped up sequencing capacity during the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the operational challenges in implementing an end-to-end genomics program in a provincial public health laboratory and the role and utility of genomics over the course of the pandemic.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to: 

  1. Identify the role of SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing (WGS) in the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C.
  2. Provide examples of public health applications of SARS-CoV-2 WGS 
  3. Describe the approach to the operationalization of WGS in a public health laboratory

Presenter(s): Dr. Linda Hoang

Dr. Linda Hoang, MD, MSc, DTM&H, FRCPC, is the Associate Director of the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory and Program Head of the BCCDC Public Health Advanced Bacteriology & Mycology Program. A Medical Microbiologist and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UBC, she is the Medical Co-Lead of B.C.’s Provincial Infection Control Network, PICNet. Her team at the BCCDC PHL rapidly ramped up next generation sequencing (NGS) capacity to support the COVID-19 pandemic response. Dr. Hoang’s pre-COVID-19 clinical and research interests include containment-level-3 pathogens and agents of bioterrorism, healthcare-acquired infections, antibiotic-resistant organisms, Cryptococcus gattii, enteric bacterial pathogens, and other bacterial outbreaks in B.C.  


The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca .


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca .

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Published 26 Nov 2021