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S.C.V. History
October 27
1892 - Birth of Robert E. Callahan, owner of Mission Village in L.A. and Old West Trading Post on Sierra Highway [story]
Callahans Old West


Courtesy of The Signal, signalscv.com
| Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021
Los Angeles County
Kevin Carmody, right, an applied genomics specialist at the new COVID-19 testing facility in Valencia, shows Gov. Gavin Newsom a liquid handler on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Tammy Murga / The Signal

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is putting pressure on the California Health and Human Services Agency, calling for the investigative report regarding the PerkinElmer COVID-19 laboratory in Valencia to be released.

PerkinElmer, a Massachusetts-based diagnostics company, was tasked with increasing California’s daily COVID-19 tests by 150,000 via its $1.4 billion contract with the state at the 134,287-square-foot industrial building on Livingston Avenue.

In February, California laboratory experts were deployed to the lab following allegations of poor management, with the state expected to release the report conducted by California Department of Public Health’s Laboratory Field Services, or LFS, by mid-March, according to Wilk.

“I’m just frustrated with the lack of accountability by Sacramento, in general, and Gov. (Gavin) Newsom, in particular,” Wilk said, noting that it was a no-bid contract. “It’s a lot of money, $1.4 billion, and if you’ve read the report, they’ve been devastating in terms of not fulfilling the contract.”

Newsom said the facility would increase testing by 75% and improve the turnaround time from five to seven days to about 48 hours when announcing the lab’s opening in October of last year. However, whistleblowers’ reports indicated that had not proven to be the case.

An LFS investigation conducted late last year uncovered thousands of inconclusive or erroneous test results coming out of the Valencia lab, Wilk noted in his letter to CHHS Secretary Mark Ghaly, citing reporting conducted by TV station CBS13 in Sacramento, which indicated that fewer than 20,000 tests have been conducted per day as of February — which were billed to the state at a rate of more than 100,000 daily.

In its most recent update on the situation following the announcement of the state’s report, PerkinElmer provided an update on the Valencia lab in a Feb. 22 press release, noting that “the deficiencies identified by LFS have long since been resolved,” as the lab had provided additional information to the LFS that had yet to be incorporated in the report.

The lab had issued corrected reports for approximately 60 out of more than 1.5 million samples processed as of February, per the release.

“PerkinElmer is proud of this public-private collaboration with California to bring critical testing to the community,” Prahlad Singh, PerkinElmer’s president and CEO, said in a February prepared statement. “We uphold the highest quality and safety standards across all of our operations, and we have already addressed the issues that emerged in the early days since the Valencia testing site was established, despite just receiving the formal report from the December inspection.”

However, to date, the state’s report has not been made public and the Newsom administration has dodged questions about its status, according to Wilk, who hopes his letter will put pressure on state officials to release the report and answer questions on whether the problems have been addressed and why it was delayed.

“It is crucial that we receive a transparent and timely accounting of the issues regarding working conditions in the lab and the accuracy of the tests,” Wilk said in the letter. “While this is indeed an unprecedented pandemic, state contractors and agencies must still be held accountable. Delaying the public release of the report with little to no explanation is unacceptable and does not provide the level of service and transparency Californians deserve.”

The Valencia lab has since received accreditation with the College of American Pathologists, a third-party independent entity, joining PerkinElmer’s labs in Pennsylvania, India and China that already have the CAP accreditation, which was sought “so that Californians have no doubt about the quality of the services at the laboratory,” per the PerkinElmer release.

PerkinElmer deferred comment Tuesday to the California Department of Public Health, whose officials were unavailable for comment as of the publication of this story.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1892 - Birth of Robert E. Callahan, owner of Mission Village in L.A. and Old West Trading Post on Sierra Highway [story]
Callahans Old West
Throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond, haunters are getting ready for a spooktacular Halloween, setting up garages and front yards as haunted houses, each unique and special in its own way.
Club Fear to Celebrate its Final Year in SCV
Saugus High School’s Young Americans Foundation Club was joined by other students and staff Sunday for a 5K to support the Wounded Warriors Project.
Saugus High Club Raises Money for Wounded Warriors Project
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 20 new deaths and 827 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 37,178 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID Roundup: Public Health Urges Those Eligible to Get Booster
Valencia High School parents were alerted by school administrators Tuesday night that 33 positive COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed on the Vikings campus within the last week.
33 COVID Cases Reported at Valencia High School
Known by students at Canyon High School as the biggest club on campus, the Eco Chicos Environmental Club is doing what it can to change the world one piece of trash at a time.
Eco Chicos Club Helps Promote Environmental Change
Construction is underway at Castaic Lake, as officials from the California Department of Water Resources work to make seismic improvements on Castaic Dam’s tower access bridge.
Construction on Castaic Dam Moving Forward
The office of state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is hosting a virtual Keeping the Keys workshop with the Automobile Club of Southern California for older drivers Friday.
Oct. 29: Workshop Scheduled for Senior Drivers
Following about an inch of rain in the Santa Clarita Valley on Monday, depending on where you were standing, sunny skies are forecasted for the area for the rest of the week, according to officials at the National Weather Service.
Sunny Skies Forecasted for the SCV
1970 - Permanent COC Valencia campus dedicated [story]
COC dedication ceremony program
No. 3 College of the Canyons overcame a slow start to eventually find its rhythm and flex its muscle in a 34-14 conference win over No. 15 Allan Hancock College on Saturday at Cougar Stadium.
No. 3 Canyons Remains Undefeated with 34-14 Victory Over No. 15 Allan Hancock
Saugus handily won Friday night’s matchup of the Foothill League’s two best teams thanks to its suffocating defense, beating West Ranch 42-8 at College of the Canyons.
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Artists Day returns to Rancho Camulos Museum on Friday, Nov. 12, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 177th Death at Henry Mayo
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L.A. County Issues Beach Water Advisory
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the seven productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, Oct. 25 - Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021:
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The National Weather Service is forecasting a large storm system in Los Angeles County beginning early Monday. County officials have issued a No Phase Flow Forecast for all communities in the region.
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HC Wiley obituary
1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]
Santa Clarita Metrolink grand opening brochure
1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]
Southern Hotel
On Saturday, Oct. 23, SCV Sheriff Station J-Team deputies will be hosting a "Drug Take Back Day" between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in front of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
Oct. 23: SCV Sheriff’s Station Hosting “Drug Take Back Day”
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 15 new deaths and 1,227 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 36,989 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: County Begins Administering COVID Vaccine Boosters for All Three FDA-Approved Vaccines to Residents; SCV Cases Total 36,989
As you walk along the River Village Park Trail at Duane R. Harte Park, you can now enjoy nature and a story at the same time.
Santa Clarita Public Library Debuts ‘Trail Tales’ Literary Adventure at Duane R. Harte Park
SCVNews.com
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