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California inspectors find 'deficiencies' at virus test lab

State health officials say inspectors found "significant deficiencies" at the state's new coronavirus testing laboratory.

Posted: Feb 22, 2021 1:02 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California health officials say inspectors found "significant deficiencies" at the state's new coronavirus testing laboratory.

The state said in a preliminary report Monday that a fraction of 1% of the more than 1.5 million tests performed at the Valencia Branch Laboratory have had problems. But Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said "one incorrect test result is one too many."

Massachusetts-based diagnostics company PerkinElmer, which operates the lab under a $1.4 billion state contract, says the deficiencies found in a December inspection "have long since been resolved."

The state health department also is investigating whistleblower allegations of incompetence and mismanagement, including reports of workers sleeping on the job. The company says those concerns are "misplaced."

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