State, local, and territorial public health laboratories (PHLs) play an indispensable role in protecting the health of Americans from new, emerging, and existing health threats by conducting laboratory testing and providing other science-based services.
The work of public health laboratory systems
is interdigitated with other aspects of public health work, including epidemiology.
Public health professionals and policy makers use actionable information from PHLs daily to identify and prioritize these population health threats, and to develop and implement effective interventions.
In order to fulfill their critical public health mission, PHLs must be capable of and effective at detecting and responding to a myriad of threats across a broad and expanding spectrum of health domains, including infectious diseases, such as the COVID-19 emergency public health response in the United States and globally.