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COVID-19 lab starts processing tests

16 September 2020

The processing of COVID-19 tests at the new on-Island laboratory has begun. 170 tests taken from passengers who arrived on the first three flights into the Island yesterday were all processed locally, with test results provided in an average of 12 hours.

The opening of the new laboratory, exactly four weeks to the day following its arrival on-site, will significantly speed up the processing time and support Islanders and visitors alike to begin enjoying their time in the Island sooner on arrival through the ports.

During the past four weeks rigorous verification and validation checks have been undertaken to ensure that all tests processed meet the required standard of clinical quality. The laboratory will gradually increase processing volumes and the Government aims for the processing of tests for all arriving passengers to be completed on-Island within a month.

The new laboratory will strengthen the Jersey’s testing capability, with test results provided within 12 hours on average, allowing the Island to identify positive cases more quickly and speed up the contact tracing process.

The Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "The opening of the COVID-19 laboratory is a significant milestone in managing Jersey’s testing requirements. It will not only increase our overall capacity but by reducing the time from when a test is taken to providing a result it reduces both risk and inconvenience. Importantly processing tests on island also provides improved security going into the autumn and winter months.

"The setting up of the laboratory is a fantastic example of the collaborative efforts of colleagues from across the Government and partnering organisations who have worked tirelessly to deliver this solution for the benefit of the Island. I would like to thank the project team and everyone else involved for their hard work."

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