Releases Request for Innovative Ideas for COVID-19 Specimen Collection and
Date: September 14, 2020
SACRAMENTO — Today the California
Department of Public Health, along with the California Department of General
Services and the California Department of Technology, announced the release of
a competitive procurement to support the state's response to COVID-19. The
state is seeking an innovative solution to support the collection and
transportation of COVID-19 specimens to a state laboratory for processing. The
solution should result in a better user experience that is seamless, timely,
cost-effective, and convenient.
"The ability to identify and
track cases of COVID-19 is dependent upon rapid testing and reporting of
results," said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services
Secretary. "Our goal is to create a solution that is both culturally and
linguistically competent, and meets the client or patient where they are so
that testing becomes more accessible and equitable for both individuals who are
disproportionately impacted by the virus as well as those who are at greater
risk for the virus."
The state continues to increase
diagnostic testing capacity for COVID-19. However, as flu season approaches,
the need to build additional capacity that is timely, equitable, and
cost-effective is critical. Symptoms for the flu are similar to COVID-19, and
as a result, healthcare providers will test for both, only further increasing
the demand for testing. To that end, the state is aiming to stand up a laboratory
facility and begin processing tens of thousands of additional tests by
November 1 and up to an additional 150,000 tests by no later than March 1,
2021. Through this innovative procurement, the state will be able to collect
specimens from across California and transport the specimens to the new state laboratory. The goal is to reach individuals in
various locations including workplaces, congregate living settings, schools,
churches, and under-resourced community settings.
"By using this innovative
procurement approach the state is able to capitalize on California’s innovation
economy, better inform the state’s investment of taxpayer dollars, and find
solutions that are in the best interest of the people of California," said
Yolanda Richardson, Government Operations Agency Secretary.
The Request for Innovative Ideas (RFI2)
is a competitive procurement approach introduced by Governor Gavin
Newsom in January 2019 that seeks to engage innovators, entrepreneurs,
scientists, vendors, and experts to collaborate on designing leading-edge
solutions. The Request for Innovative Ideas for COVID-19 Test Specimen
Collection and Transport announced today is available here. Instead
of asking for a particular product or service, the state is identifying the
problem and is seeking solutions to yield comprehensive and effective results.
The goal is to identify and deploy the solution by early November of 2020.
For more information on testing and
COVID-19 visit COVID19.ca.gov.