NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed eight bills into law, creating a big testing expansion for New Jersey now that cases have been on the rise.
Murphy has signed legislation sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal and Linda Greenstein that authorizes pharmacists to order and administer tests for COVID-19 and COVID-19 antibodies.
The law comes as Murphy also announced that New Jersey will double its testing capacity after the Trump administration promised to supply the Garden State with millions of additional coronavirus tests. Read more: Gov. Murphy: NJ Gets 2.6M More Tests That Could Be ‘Game Changer’
The testing expansion recognizes “the vital importance of rapid, accurate and widely available testing to the ongoing battle to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” lawmakers said.
The testing expansion also comes as New Jersey has had its highest daily case numbers in months. Murphy said expanding the state’s testing capacity has
One of the UK’s most senior scientists has strongly criticised the government’s approach to coronavirus testing, saying it is too slow, too centralised and stifles efforts to protect the most vulnerable.
Sir Paul Nurse, the Nobel laureate and director of the Francis Crick Institute in London, said independent laboratories could provide up to 100,000 tests a day – a third of the UK’s current testing capacity – with government support.
Nurse told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it has to be a different approach from the centralised labs. Not substituting for them but additional to them … It has to be better joined up, which is not the strategy we have at the moment.”
Ministers have faced searing criticism of the testing strategy after a huge data blunder saw nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases left off the system,
Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe in London
The number of positive coronavirus cases within the UK surged again on Sunday, with the government admitting that “technical” issues had caused delays in the publication of test results.
A record 22,961 new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Sunday, an increase of more than 10,000 compared with 12,872 on Saturday.
The government said a technical issue had been identified overnight on Friday “in the automated process that transfers positive cases data” to Public Health England.
As a result, the number of coronavirus cases announced on Saturday and Sunday included 15,841 additional cases from between September 25 and Friday. Last night, the government said that the issue, though resolved, would affect case numbers in the next few days.
A message on the coronavirus data dashboard on Saturday warned that data published in the next few days would “include some additional cases” from between September 24 and October