HomeSaint LuciaEzra Long Laboratory reverts to 24-hour COVID-19 PCR testing

Ezra Long Laboratory reverts to 24-hour COVID-19 PCR testing


Today Wednesday March 3, 2021 the Ezra Long Laboratory reports that the backlog which was experienced during the month of January and February 2021 has been completely cleared up and reverts to the 24 hour turnaround time for COVID-19 PCR testing. The Ezra Long Laboratory has finalized the processes to increase the testing capacity over the last few weeks. During the period February 25-28, 2021 a total of 2408 samples have been processed.

The increased capacity of the Ezra Long Laboratory includes the repair and certification of the second biosafety cabinet by the Biomedical Engineer from Trinidad on February 1, 2021. The laboratory has also procured and received a high throughput automated extraction robot called the MGI 960. Reagents have been secured to ensure adequate supply for 2 months at a time. The various work stations have been organized to facilitate better and more efficient service and the firmware has been upgraded on the amplification devices. The human resource capacity of the laboratory has also increased with the employment of 6 clerical persons in February 2021. All of the relevant laboratory personnel have been trained on the use of the new equipment procured.

The laboratory is able to process between 762-1125 samples daily, with a 24 hour turnaround.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness thanks the general public for their patience during the laboratory results delay over the last few months. We acknowledge the impact of the delay on the public service and private sector. We will continue to support the national effort in the management of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health reminds the public that they must remain in isolation after testing and while symptomatic. Also, every citizen is encouraged to continue adhering to the infection prevention and control measures to reduce transmission of COVID-19 to friends and family. This includes use of facemasks, maintaining physical distance from others and frequent hand washing.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness and by extension the Ezra Long Laboratory will continue to work towards improving our processes thus ensuring that we minimize the risk of the reoccurrence of the backlog. 


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