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Samples sent off-island as covid test backlog hits 3,000

Samples sent off-island as covid test backlog hits 3,000

Sunday 03 October 2021

Samples sent off-island as covid test backlog hits 3,000


Covid swabs taken this weekend are now being sent to the UK for analysis, with technical glitches persisting at Jersey’s own laboratory.

The Government first announced that the island’s main PCR test processing facility was suffering technical problems around 23:00 on Friday night, stating that there was a backlog of 2,000.

By Saturday morning, that had risen to 3,000.

Government officials said in a statement on social media: “Ongoing technical issues at the Open Cell laboratory mean that there are still delays with processing around 3,000 covid tests. Please be assured that staff are working tirelessly to resolve the problem and they will clear the backlog of test results as soon as the issue is fixed.

“Samples received from this morning will be sent to the UK for testing while the problem remains.”

They added that islanders who were showing symptoms should continue to isolate until they receive a negative result.

“We appreciate your patience in waiting for test results, which will come via text message and email once the issue is resolved. Thank you for your understanding,” the statement concluded.

Shortly after 11:00 this morning, it was confirmed that the technical issues remained.

Open Cell's flatpack Covid Testing lab was first brought to Jersey in August 2020, to speed up the Government's rapid testing regime.

Previously, tests had to be processed off-island. Introducing the lab meant that Jersey was able to increase on-island testing capacity to 2,000 daily and slash waiting times for results.

Since April, the lab has also been processing commercial tests, having struck a deal with local pharmacies. It pledges results in 12 hours or less.

Recently, the turnaround time for PCR test results has been around seven hours.

jlflefondre8covidlaboratory.jpg

Pictured: The Chief Minister in the Open Cell testing lab, which was first brought to Jersey in summer 2020 to assist with the Government's testing regime.

Inbound travel has accounted for more than half of all testing in Jersey since July 2020.

All travellers arriving at the island’s border must currently undergo a PCR swab test, and only those who are not vaccinated against covid need to quarantine until their result. 

Anyone who has symptoms of covid can now book a PCR test online.

Follow Express for updates…

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Tech glitches delay 2,000 covid test results

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