By Julie Watts

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California’s health secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, confirmed CBS13’s findings Tuesday after we uncovered a surprisingly high number of inconclusive test results coming out of the state’s new COVID testing lab in its first week.

ALSO READ: CBS13 Investigates – How Is California’s New COVID Testing Lab Doing In Its First Week?

“We did identify that a higher number than expected of tests in the first week came back inconclusive,” Ghaly said at his weekly briefing Tuesday in response to questions from CBS13 investigative reporter Julie Watts.

Watts’s family of four was among the first to have their COVID test results processed by the state’s new lab. Two out of four results came back inconclusive, and they were not alone.

While the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has not responded to requests for the total number of inconclusive tests from the new state lab, Placer County did provide CBS13 with local data that indicates that one out of every 13 Placer County COVID-19 test results processed by the new lab in its first week, came back inconclusive.

This came as a surprise to the director of Nevada’s public health lab, Mark W. Pandori, who commented on CBS13’s results when CDPH would not.

“We do get inconclusive results, all labs do, it’s just that they are rare,” Pandori said.

In fact, the percent of inconclusive results that Placer County got from the state lab last week was 61 times higher than the percentage of inconclusive results that Placer County has received from all labs since the start of the pandemic.

READ MORE: CBS13 Investigates: How Is California’s New COVID Testing Lab Doing In Its First Week?

Dr. Ghaly said that the state believes they have identified the problem.

“One of the validation steps, that confirms that the necessary chemical reaction to run the test, didn’t occur for some of those inconclusive tests. We’ve identified some of the issues with why they didn’t occur and have since corrected it,” Ghaly said.

“We feel like we’re on the road to having fewer inconclusive tests so that the lab can do what it was meant to do,” Ghaly added, “which was provide timely information about someone’s COVID status to equip public health departments and other entities to track the transmission of disease.”

He urged anyone with inconclusive results to get re-tested. “We will, through our own efforts, try to expedite the results,” he said.

The state’s $1.7 billion contract with PerkinElmer requires the lab return results in 24 to 48 hours.

However, five days after Watts’s son was retested, and nine days after his original inconclusive test, his re-test results also came back inconclusive.

Her husband finally received his inconclusive results five days after his initial test and was still waiting for the re-test results five days after his retest.

As of this update, the new lab had still not provided either with conclusive results after 13 days and four tests.

NOTE: This story was updated to include subsequent testing result details. 

Julie Watts

Comments (2)
  1. RetiredFD says:

    “We do get inconclusive results, all labs do, it’s just that they are rare,” Pandori said. In fact, the percent of inconclusive results that Placer County got from the state lab last week was 61 times higher than the percentage of inconclusive results that Placer County has received from all labs since the start of the pandemic.” Hogwash, I have been yelling since the beginning that the tests are only 50% right and cannot tell the difference between covid and a flu or common cold. No test is 50% right. Its a scam people, and they are stealing liberty and freedom based upon a covid hoax, a lie, a farce, a sham. Wake up, there is no pandemic, never was.

    1. Ms. Karen2U says:

      Put on a mask and cover your mouth. We have a right to believe the tests. We dont care if they are wrong. It makes us feel secure in our victimhood. We want to be scared and we want to be locked down nice and tight. We dont need jobs or church or anything except TV and more tests.
      Covid justifies our lives at this point and we have a right to obey the authorities for our own good. So what if covid is just a common cold virus, so what if it is overhyped. We are true believers so put on your mask and cover your mouth because we dont want to hear your words. We want our DNA altering vaccinations asap.

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