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Thursday, May 19, 2022

State Investigates Whistleblower Complaints at Valencia COVID Lab

The state government is actively investigating poor management allegations at a PerkinsElmer COVID-19 testing laboratory in Valencia, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a press conference this week.Through the Massachusetts diagnostics company’s $1.7 billion contract with the state, PerkinsElmer was responsible for increasing COVID-19 testing by processing 150,000 tests per day at the 134,287-square-foot lab at 28454 Livingston Ave.A news report in Sacramento and whistleblower allegations to the California Public Health Department instead claim that less than 20,000 tests had been conducted per day since its opening in October, while the state was receiving bills from the facility for upwards of 100,000 daily tests.Alleged problems include contamination, sleeping lab technicians, swapped samples and test swabs found in restrooms, resulting in inaccurate test results.The California Health and Human Services Agency and PerkinsElmer issued statements earlier this week that both entities take the complaints seriously.“We have deployed a team of state laboratory experts to the laboratory to investigate the allegations,” Kate Folmar, spokeswoman for CHHS, said in a statement. “The state’s contract with PerkinElmer contains strong contractual language to ensure that we protect the state and taxpayers. We need to let the laboratory experts do their work and see if complaints are substantiated, and then the state will take any action that may be merited.”“At the Valencia laboratory, dedicated individuals at both PerkinElmer and (California Department of Public Health) have worked extremely hard to open the facility and ramp up testing over the past several months in order to meet the state’s testing demands,” PerkinsElmer said in its statement. “We take any complaints or allegations of wrongdoing seriously and are fully cooperating with California to investigate the issues raised … and will continue to be fully transparent with CDPH on any concerns they have.”

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