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New CA lab ramps up COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – The state officially rolled out its new ramped-up testing program which starts next week.

State leaders walk through a brand new COVID-19 testing lab in Southern California Friday. 

“It’s happening exactly at the right time when more pressure is being placed because of the increase we’re seeing around this nation,” Gov. Newsom said.

The new $25 million dollar lab in Valencia is part of California’s recent $1.4 billion dollar contract with diagnostics company PerkinElmer. 

The lab aims to significantly boost the state’s testing capabilities adding an extra 150,000 processed tests a day with the goal of a 24 hour turnaround time.

The latest state data show labs across California are averaging a 1.2 day turnaround time with about 100,000 tests a day. 

“This lab represents a true opportunity not just to things at a scale that really only California can achieve,” Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. 

The governor said the lab started intaking samples this week.

Health leaders say this new partnership will help deploy testing resources to communities in need. 

“We are going to be deploying mobile units, we are going to be deploying buses in places where they’re needed, we’re going to be partnering with community-based organizations, churches so that we can test where people need to be tested,” CA Coronavirus Testing Task Force Dr. Gil Chavez said. 

The software used in the lab will for the first time, directly report testing data to the state’s new COVID-19 electronic reporting system. 

The contract with PerkinElmer expires in March of 2021.

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