**FILE PHOTO**
**FILE PHOTO**

Montgomery County has ended a contract with a genetic testing lab it had used for coronavirus testing at county-run sites since May.

AdvaGenix, headquartered in Rockville, had its contract terminated after officials from the Maryland Department of Health found “deficient practices” that called into question thousands of tests.

A county news release posted Tuesday said officials are presently working to reopen testing sites with the help of the state health department, which it said has pledged to replace the weekly supply of tests for the next four weeks, WTOP reported.

The action came after questions surrounding the AdvaGenix tests pushed county officials to suspend operations at two of its testing sites Thursday, and the company received notice of the suspension of its testing the following day. Of the 265,000 coronavirus tests given to county residents, AdvaGenix provided about eight percent, according to officials.

Dr. William Kearns, AdvaGenix’s CEO, said that despite the county’s action, his company’s tests are “safe and accurate.”

“It is unfortunate that the county has taken this action when we expect a swift resolution to the regulatory issues in question,” Kearns said in a statement, WTOP reported. “We have fully cooperated with the federal, state and local officials at every step in this process. AdvaGenix wants to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible.”

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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