Inspectors found “significant deficiencies” at California’s new coronavirus testing laboratory, problems that state officials on Monday partly blamed on the rapid ramp-up they required from the lab’s private operator under terms of a $1.4 billion contract.
A fraction of 1% of the more than 1.5 million tests processed at the Valencia Branch Laboratory had problems, the state said in a preliminary report, but Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said “one incorrect test result is one too many.”
The $25 million lab that opened in October north of Los Angeles was unable to test about 250 samples (0.017%) due to lab errors, the state said. It issued corrected reports for about 60 (0.0039%) samples.
“California takes these findings seriously” and continues working with the contractor “to ensure Californians have the accurate, timely, high-quality test results,” Ghaly said in a statement.
Massachusetts-based diagnostics company PerkinElmer, which operates the lab