California unveils new lab for faster, cheaper COVID-19 testing

A new high-tech lab will dramatically increase the state's coronavirus testing capacity while reducing the time it takes to process results for patients.
A new high-tech lab will dramatically increase the state's coronavirus testing capacity while reducing the time it takes to process results for patients.

Governor Gavin Newsom walked through the new $25 million lab on Friday.

It's located in Valencia and is part of a billion-dollar deal with the scientific diagnostics firm PerkinElmer.

Newsom said the lab will ultimately be able to process 150,000 tests a day by March, and deliver results more quickly and with less expense.

Central Valley counties are also trying to increase their test numbers.

Dr. Rais Vohra with Fresno County public health said almost every hospital in the Valley is testing every patient they admit for COVID 19.

In Fresno County, Vohra said they're also expecting a shipment of BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests from the federal government as early as next week.

He says they would deliver even quicker results.

"We'd like them to be deployed to congregate settings places where there's a high risk of an outbreak.... certain industries that are at risk of outbreaks just because they have essential workers that are not able to work from home, for example," he said.

Vohra is urging folks to get their flu shots as soon as possible, as they continue to work with the state on developing a plan on how a Covid vaccine will be distributed once it's available.
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