Newsom Signs Contract with PerkinElmer to Provide an Additional 150,000 COVID-19 Tests Daily

Governor Gavin Newsom announced a partnership with PerkinElmer to provide an additional 150,000 COVID-19 tests a day with a turnaround time of 24-48 hours. The state is currently processing about 100,000 tests per day, but the average turnaround time is 5-7 days.

The groundbreaking contract will drive down the costs of tests for everyone as it expands California’s ability to fight coronavirus and protect essential workers and those most at risk. Newsom said they will build a laboratory facility shortly and begin processing tens of thousands of additional tests by November 1, 2020, and run at full capacity by no late than March 1, 2021.

The governor’s office released a statement explaining, “This first-of-its-kind agreement aims to disrupt the testing marketplace, help break supply chain logjams and drive down the costs for tests for every Californian. It will greatly expand California’s ability to track and prevent COVID-19 infections across the state and create additional testing capacity that will allow the state to increase testing in communities at high risk for contracting COVID-19, like essential workers, those in congregate settings and communities of color.”

With 10.83 million tests complete in California and each test averaging $150 – $200 Governor Newsom said, “Costs are draw dropping and are simply not sustainable.”

The new partnership allows tests to cost as low as $31. The new average is:

  • 40,000 tests: $47.99
  • 100,00 tests $37.78
  • 150,000 tests $30.78

“California is using its market power to combat global supply chain challenges and protect Californians in the fight against COVID-19. Supply chains across the country have slowed as demand for COVID-19 tests has increased, and flu season will only exacerbate the problem,” said Governor Newsom. “So we are building our own laboratory capabilities right here on California soil with a stable supply chain to fight the disease, lower the prices of testing for everyone and protect Californians most at risk from COVID-19.”

“This is a game-changer,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood, chair of the health committee during Gavin Newsom’s press conference Wednesday.

Senate Health Committee Chair Senator Richard Pan also joined Assemblymember Wood during Wednesday’s press conference expressing support of the new plan. As a father of young child Pan hopes the plan will allow kids to get back into school sooner.

“Californians need testing that is accessible, equitable, cost-effective, and timely…This deal meets all those metrics,” said Senate Budget Chair Senator Holly Mitchell in the governor’s press release.

“Our Latino community is disproportionately devastated by this public health crisis. Latinos perform the essential work in our agricultural fields, our garment factories, and our meatpacking plants that increase their chances of contracting COVID-19 and put their lives at risk…Expanding testing for all Californians means that our essential workers will have more access to information to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” said California Latino Legislative Caucus Chair Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez.

“Black Californians have been disproportionately sickened and killed by COVID-19…I am pleased that Governor Newsom is prioritizing more testing equity for all Californians,” said California Legislative Black Caucus Chair Assemblymember Shirley Weber. 

“Every Californian, regardless of age, race, income or immigration status, needs rapid and reliable results for testing for COVID-19, if we are to ultimately contain this coronavirus,” said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California. “Californians will benefit from us having this increased capacity for COVID-19 testing, at a set and affordable price.”

Governor Newsom believes the ability to test an additional 150,000 people daily, in 8 -10 weeks, will make contract tracing more effective and ultimately help slow the spread of COVID-19. He reminded everyone to wear a mask, physically distance, wash your hands and minimize mixing as he provided an update on coronavirus numbers.


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