News State Victoria News COVID tests thrown out as Victoria’s cases swamp pathology labs: 25,526 cases, 23 deaths
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COVID tests thrown out as Victoria’s cases swamp pathology labs: 25,526 cases, 23 deaths

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As COVID infections rise by the tens of thousands every day, pathology labs find themselves unable to cope. Photo: AAP
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Victoria has recorded 25,526 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths, as more residents are told their PCR tests are invalid after waiting more than seven days.

The new infections include 12,857 from rapid antigen tests and 12,669 from PCR tests, the state health department confirmed on Saturday.

There are a record 1054 patients in hospital, up 78 from Friday, including 115 in intensive care, with 30 of those on ventilators.

In total, the state is managing 227,105 active cases – more than enough to fill the MCG twice over.

The number of Victorians 18 and over who have received their booster vaccine shot has crept up to 22 per cent.

Testing delays

The figures come as private pathology labs send out more notifications to Victorians whose PCR tests have been deemed invalid because they are more than seven days old.

“Impacted patients will be notified via text message in the near future. We regret the inconvenience caused to our patients by the delay in results,” Australian Clinical Labs said in an update published on Friday.

“Our laboratory staff are doing all they can in getting through the current backlog, and like all pathology companies in Victoria, we have seen an unprecedented volume of samples enter our laboratories during the latest surge.”

One Melbourne woman, who was tested on January 5, received the memo on Friday evening.

ACL recommended she use a rapid antigen test or self-quarantine for seven days post her first test date, which has already passed.

The company was one of four private pathology providers to suspend operations across 54 Victorian testing sites earlier this month to allow their labs to catch up on the test backlog.

Another of the quartet, Melbourne Pathology, last week decided not to process week-old samples from 7000 tests taken over the busy Christmas and new year period.

The Department of Health has been contacted for comment.

-AAP