The new facility was delivered by boat yesterday morning and is expected to cut the wait for test results to an average of 12 hours.
Currently, the majority of Covid-19 tests are processed in the UK, which means that results currently take between 24 and 48 hours to be provided. The new lab will be able to process approximately 2,000 tests each day.
A spokesperson for the government said in a statement that adding this new facility to Jersey’s testing capability would allow the Island to keep up with testing requirements, following the opening of the borders, and back up the move into Level 1 of the safe exit framework.
The statement continued: ‘The increased testing capability provided by the new laboratory will allow the Island to identify cases more quickly and speed up the contact tracing process.’
The new laboratory will remain with Ports of Jersey for routine processing procedures. Over the next few weeks it will be tested and validated before it comes into use in September. The Government of Jersey has signed an initial three-month contract which will take effect from the date the laboratory begins processing tests.
Since the Island’s borders were opened on 3 July after three-and-a-half months of travel only being permitted if essential, the majority of testing has been for arriving passengers at the Airport and Harbour.
A total of 28,786 tests were processed up to Tuesday, and there are now 11 known active cases.
Last weekend was the busiest so far, with a total of around 4,500 tests being processed, including just one positive case.