Health and Fitness

California picks Burlingame-based tech company Color Health for new COVID-19 testing contract


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The state is processing a contract with a Burlingame-based tech firm Coloration Well being to facilitate COVID testing throughout California.

This comes because the California Division of Public Well being is about to terminate its $1.7 billion contract with PerkinElmer — an organization that partnered with the state to function Valencia Department Lab. The troubled lab as soon as touted by Gov. Gavin Newsom as being a game-changer throughout the pandemic failed to fulfill requirements, in keeping with an inspection report launched from CDPH final November. The report detailed main deficiencies like invalid COVID exams, unprocessed affected person samples, and inaccurate outcomes relationship again a 12 months in the past.

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Six months following that report, the ABC7 Information I-Crew confirmed Coloration Well being is in line to take over a brand new function to supply COVID-19 testing – however it will likely be completely different.

“The state will continue to offer testing capacity to local health jurisdictions in the same manner that it has prior to the Valencia Branch Lab closure,” CDPH wrote in an announcement launched to the I-Crew. “The only change will be PCR testing capacity will be provided through a network of partners rather than the state’s Valencia Branch lab.”

In keeping with the state, Coloration Well being’s contract will probably be posted within the subsequent two weeks.

“I think it’s critical we have transparency around it, so we don’t have a situation like the previous one occur again,” mentioned Dr. Mike Wasserman, who sat on the state’s vaccine advisory committee and frequently suggested the state. “If we don’t know what the vendors are held to in terms of outcomes, then I think we risk going down the same path we went down before.”

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CDPH instructed the I-Crew there will probably be no change to the patron expertise – together with no change to value or who can entry the state’s testing companies. In keeping with an I-Crew evaluation of public information, PerkinElmer was charging round $55 per PCR COVID check – not the $30 that was initially promised. Final 12 months, the I-Crew profiled Bay Space-based testing firm Summer time Bio – solely charging $10 per PCR COVID check and reported quicker turnaround instances in 2021.

It is unclear how a lot Coloration Well being will probably be charging per check, the I-Crew has reached out to the corporate for additional remark.

“If we are going to effectively address COVID going forward, we need testing that has rapid turnaround,” Wasserman mentioned.

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