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15th June 2020  Content supplied by: American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)

ALS Expands A2LA Scope to Cover COVID-19 Surface Testing

ALS, an international provider of laboratory services headquartered in Australia, has recently expanded the scope of accreditation at their largest US laboratory to include a test for the detection of the novel coronavirus on surfaces.

This ALS laboratory is among the first laboratories to be accredited by A2LA for this kind of testing. With many US states beginning to “reopen” the need to test frequently contacted surfaces for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is becoming an even more crucial part of efforts to curtail the spread of the disease.

A2LA has been committing extra resources to process and evaluate scope expansions for tests such as these thoroughly and expediently to support the scientific community in fighting this pandemic. Accreditation by an impartial, third-party accreditation body such as A2LA is a critical indicator of the quality of newly produced tests and methods. 

ALS provides testing, inspection, certification, and verification services through hundreds of dedicated laboratories all over the world. Their focus on cutting-edge technology and innovative methods have helped them to be industry leaders in this new category of testing. COVID-19 is spread primarily person-to-person through small oral and nasal droplets, but these droplets can also contaminate surfaces and be transmitted when another person touches those surfaces.

The SARS-CoV-2 test provided by ALS allows customers to swab frequently contacted surfaces in their facilities with a sampling kit and return that kit to the accredited ALS laboratory for molecular testing. With a better understanding of where SARS-CoV-2 is present on surfaces and to what extent, customers can take more effective steps to prevent the transmission
of coronavirus. 

“ALS is very excited to obtain our A2LA accreditation for the testing of COVID-19 on surfaces in our client’s facilities. Positive or negative results; this data-based approach is part of our global initiative Safe by Choice™ helping the community to stay safe and return the business to normal.” Remarked Scott Griggs, Director, Services for Food Manufacturing and Food Service. “ALS has been a leading supplier of salmonella and listeria testing services in food manufacturing, distribution and restaurants worldwide. The addition of COVID-19 surface testing is a logical extension of these established services and allows ALS to service clients beyond the food industry.” 

All five of ALS’s US laboratory facilities are accredited by A2LA for a variety of tests under the international standard ISO/IEC 17025. Accreditation to this standard confirms an organization’s competence and their capacity to produce sound, reliable results. “A2LA has a very solid history with ALS and has tremendous confidence in their systems and technical competence, which allowed us to utilize remote techniques to add COVID testing capabilities to their current accreditation,” said Trace McInturff, A2LA VP of Accreditation Services. 

“A2LA is very proud to work with our labs and assist in adding critical technical capabilities in these particular times of need.” For more information about ALS and their SARS-CoV-2 surface testing, visit alsglobal.com. For more information about A2LA accreditation, visit A2LA.org.

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Date Published: 15th June 2020

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