By Adam Pagnucco.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and county health officer Travis Gayles have announced that the county has suspended COVID testing performed by AdvaGenix, a Rockville lab. When the county announced its agreement with AdvaGenix in May, it said that the company’s tests would first be used by first responders and eventually would be used by a million people over the next year. (The county’s population was estimated at 1,050,688 in 2019 by the U.S. Census Bureau.)
In May, Elrich said, “This is a game-changer for us. This greatly increases our ability to get more testing… Testing is an essential part of the road to reopening. It is great that we are doing this and that we are able to partner with a local company on this important step.”
The county has now suspended its testing through AdvaGenix but did not state exactly why in its press release, which is reprinted below.
Montgomery County Announces Suspension of COVID-19 Testing Amid Concerns with AdvaGenix’s Testing Process
For Immediate Release: Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles announced today that the portion of the Montgomery County-administered COVID-19 testing program processed through Rockville-based AdvaGenix is suspended immediately pending a thorough review of the AdvaGenix testing and lab process. The clinic scheduled for tomorrow at the Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center will continue, using tests provided through the State.
Dr. Gayles recommends that residents who have been tested in the past two weeks at County Government-sponsored clinics using the AdvaGenix test kits should be retested at one of the 30-plus other locations across the County.
More than 19,000 AdvaGenix tests have been used over the past two months. This represents roughly 8 percent of the more than 251,000 COVID-19 tests that have been administered to County residents. Residents with confirmed appointments at upcoming testing clinics are being notified of the cancellations.
County officials are working to determine an alternative source of test analysis so the testing program can resume as quickly as possible and to develop a revised plan for County-sponsored testing.
The County’s contract with AdvaGenix provided self-administered tests for primarily asymptomatic individuals. County residents will be informed when additional County-sponsored COVID-19 test options are made available. For additional testing sites, visit the State of Maryland’s Testing Locator page.
If you are symptomatic and need help in finding testing, please call the Testing Helpline at 240-777-1755.