| Wilk requests publication of laboratory report from Valencia-based Covid laboratory


State Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is lobbying the California Health and Human Services Agency, calling for the release of the investigation report into the PerkinElmer COVID-19 lab in Valencia.

PerkinElmer, a Massachusetts-based diagnostics company, has been tasked with increasing daily COVID-19 tests in California by 150,000 through its $ 1.4 billion contract with the state in the 134,287-foot industrial building squares on Livingston Avenue.

In February, California lab experts were deployed to the lab over allegations of mismanagement, with the state to release the report by Field Services of the California Public Health Laboratory, or LFS, of here in mid-March, according to Wilk.

“I’m just frustrated with the lack of accountability from Sacramento, in general, and Governor (Gavin) Newsom, in particular,” Wilk said, noting that it was a non-tender contract. “That’s a lot of money, $ 1.4 billion, and if you’ve read the report, it was devastating in terms of breaching the contract.”

Newsom said the facility would increase testing by 75% and improve turnaround time from five to seven days to around 48 hours when the lab was announced to open in October last year. However, whistleblower reports indicated that did not turn out to be the case.

An LFS investigation late last year revealed thousands of inconclusive or erroneous test results from the Valencia lab, Wilk noted in his letter to CHHS secretary Mark Ghaly, citing a report by CBS13 television station in Sacramento, which reported that less than 20,000 tests were conducted per day in February – which were billed to the state at a rate of over 100,000 per day.

In its latest update on the situation following the announcement of the state report, PerkinElmer provided an update on the Valencia lab in a press release on February 22, noting that “the gaps identified by the LFS have long since been resolved, ”as the lab provided the EPA with additional information that had not yet been incorporated into the report.

The lab had released corrected reports for about 60 of the more than 1.5 million samples processed in February, the statement said.

“PerkinElmer is proud of this public-private collaboration with California to bring critical testing to the community,” said Prahlad Singh, president and CEO of PerkinElmer, in a statement prepared in February. “We adhere to the highest quality and safety standards in all of our operations, and we have already addressed the issues that arose at the start of the creation of the Valencia test site, despite receiving the formal report from the december inspection. “

However, to date, the state’s report has not been made public and the Newsom administration has dodged questions about his status, according to Wilk, who hopes his letter will pressure state officials to that they publish the report and answer questions as to whether the issues have been addressed and why it has been delayed.

“It is crucial that we receive a transparent and timely report on issues regarding working conditions in the laboratory and the accuracy of tests,” Wilk said in the letter. “While this is indeed an unprecedented pandemic, contractors and state agencies must still be held accountable. Delaying public release of the report with little or no explanation is unacceptable and does not provide the level of service and transparency Californians deserve.

The Valencia laboratory has since received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists, an independent third-party entity, joining PerkinElmer laboratories in Pennsylvania, India and China that already have CAP accreditation, which has been requested “so that Californians have no doubts about the quality of laboratory services, ”according to the statement from PerkinElmer.

PerkinElmer deferred comments Tuesday to the California Department of Public Health, whose officials were not available for comment at the time of this story’s publication.

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