(KTXL) – California’s $25 million COVID-19 testing lab in Valencia won’t face any consequences following an investigation into what state health leaders called “significant deficiencies” at the lab run by diagnostics company PerkinElmer.
Whistleblowers said earlier this year those issues threatened the accuracy of COVID-19 test results from the lab used by essential workplaces like clinics, churches and more than 1,000 schools.
The California Department of Public Health, which regulates the lab, spent 10 months looking into complaints that included mishandling specimens, mismanagement, destroying documents and data as well as reports of workers sleeping on the job.
In their investigation findings released Monday, CDPH said it could not substantiate claims that documents and data were destroyed and that the lab had corrected other deficiencies.
California auto-renewed its $1.7 billion no-bid contract with the PerkinElmer lab weeks ago.
State officials clarified that since the lab’s launch in October of 2020, California has paid about $716 million total in monthly invoices.
In a statement, CDPH officials said, “the state chose to allow the auto-renew provision in the contract with PerkinElmer to take effect to ensure we had the capabilities in place for a potential surge. The contract still includes strong termination provisions and allows the state to terminate the contract without cause with a 45-day notice.”
Republican State Senate Majority Leader Scott Wilk said in a statement that Gov. Gavin Newsom failed to meet the moment on the state-funded lab and criticized the administration for taking 10 months to release the findings.
The lab so far has processed more than 5.5 million tests on samples from 4,700 test collection sites.
The lab is still under federal investigation.