Results of drug screenings delayed at government lab

Getting the results of drug screening tests will take three to four times longer than usual because of problems with equipment at the Cayman Islands Forensic Science Laboratory at the Health Services Authority.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the HSA said it was advising people seeking toxicology urine drug screening that there would be delays in the results “due to an unforeseen issue with the screening equipment”.

The lab’s acting forensic manager, Beverley Ifill, said in the statement, “The average time frame to receive reports has temporarily increased from one week to a three to four-week turnaround time.”

The HSA said the lab’s screening instrument is in need of replacement parts that have been ordered.

Delays with the laboratory’s processing of drug tests, due to a staffing shortage which has since been addressed, came under fire earlier this year, when Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez said it was unacceptable that drug certificates could not be provided in a timely manner, in cases where defendants were facing drug offence charges.

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The laboratory is still accepting patient and client walk-in samples, from 8:30am to noon, Mondays to Fridays, as the lab is working with another accredited laboratory specialising in drug screening to provide these results, Ifill said.

In the statement, the HSA and the forensics laboratory apologised for the inconvenience and thanked “everyone for their continued patience and understanding”.

For more information regarding lab results, call 244-2853.

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