CSAC Bulletin Article

Briefing on Expanded Testing Capacity 

September 24, 2020

This week, CSAC hosted the California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, on the State’s efforts to expand access to COVID-19 testing through their new PerkinElmer contract. PerkinElmer, a major diagnostics company, will be contractually obligated to add up to 150,000 new laboratory COVID-19 tests per day. During the briefing Secretary Ghaly reported the impetus behind this contract was to eliminate supply chain competition with other states across the country.

The contract between PerkinElmer and the State has identified responsibilities for each entity. These responsibilities include:

  • Building the laboratories;
  • Paying for test processing and recoup through third-party billing;
  • Overseeing specimen processing in laboratories; and
  • Ensuring that PerkinElmer delivers results within 24-48 hours.

The State has provided PerkinElmer funding to support upfront costs, with the first laboratory site transitioning to a PerkinElmer administered laboratory in Los Angeles County next month. The PerkinElmer contract and the State’s request for innovative ideas looks to capitalize on California’s innovation economy to help identify new solutions or services for COVID-19 specimen collection and transport. The goal is to create a solution or service that is both culturally and linguistically competent and meets the client or patient where they are so that testing becomes more accessible and equitable for both individuals who are disproportionately impacted by the virus as well as those who are at greater risk. The State also wants to ensure that the specimen collection experience is seamless, timely, cost-effective, and convenient.

While the state identifies the role of specific partners such as, counties and school districts, CSAC will be the liaison between counties and CHHS. Counties interested in utilizing the PerkinElmer sites and receiving more information as implementation unfolds, can contact CSAC staff, Farrah McDaid Ting and Roshena Duree.

CHHS PerkinElmer PowerPoint can be found here.

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