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Montgomery County ends contract with company that was formerly its largest COVID-19 test supplier

Montgomery County ends contract with company that was
formerly its largest COVID-19 test supplier 1

Montgomery County officials on Tuesday said they have terminated their contract with AdvaGenix, a Rockville-based company that was previously their largest COVID-19 test supplier, shortly following an order that suspended the use of these tests last week.

“The County has been working to restore its testing capacity and reopen testing sites. The Maryland Department of Health has committed to replace the weekly supply of tests for the next four weeks. County officials are working to identify additional test sources to support the County Government’s effort to offer broadly available free tests,” a press statement said.

On Thursday, the county announced it was temporarily suspending tests at government-operated clinics that were meant to primarily serve asymptomatic individuals. The county said it was suspending the use of AdvaGenix’s tests due to concerns over the company’s testing and lab procedures.

Dr. William Kearns, the CEO of AdvaGenix, said, “It’s unfortunate that the county has taken this action when we expect a swift resolution to the regulatory issues in question. AdvaGenix’s COVID-19 tests are safe and accurate. We have fully cooperated with federal, state and local officials at every step in this process. AdvaGenix wants to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible and get back to the important work of helping our community.”

The county is still providing testing to symptomatic people at other labs.

For the next month, the state will provide 5,000 kits each week while the county searches for other test suppliers. The county partnered with AdvaGenix in May to primarily test asymptomatic individuals such as frontline workers and nursing home staff and residents with oral swab tests.

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Montgomery County officials will inform residents when more government-sponsored COVID-19 testing options are available. Residents can visit Maryland’s testing locator page to find additional testing clinics.

More than 265,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered to Montgomery County residents since the pandemic began. The AdvaGenix tests made up about 8% of these tests.

The following testing sites administered the AdvaGenix tests:

• Plum Gar Recreation Center, Germantown, 19561 Scenery Drive in Germantown.

• Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road in Silver Spring.

• Silver Spring Civic Building, 1 Veterans Place in Silver Spring.

• Takoma Park Community Center, 7500 Maple Avenue in Takoma Park.

• Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center, 11701 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.

• White Oak Community Recreation Center, 1700 April Lane in Silver Spring.

County Health Officer Travis Gayles recommends that residents who have been tested in the past two weeks at government-funded clinics using the AdvaGenix tests get retested at another site. Residents with appointments at a clinic that’s suspended testing are being notified of the cancellations.

County residents with COVID-19 symptoms can call the Testing Helpline at 240-777-1755 to schedule a test.

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