coronavirus

Montgomery County Closes 4 COVID-19 Test Sites After State Questions Saliva Tests

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Montgomery County temporarily closed COVID-19 testing at four sites on Thursday after the state raised questions about protocols used with some test kits. 

The testing sites in Germantown, Poolesville, Silver Spring and White Oak will be closed through Saturday, County Executive Marc Elrich said. 

“The state health department has raised questions about the protocols of AdvaGenix, the company that does our testing,” he said. “We decided to halt testing that used those kits.” 

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AdvaGenix uses self-administered kits to collect saliva. These kits account for about 7% of all tests conducted in the county, adding up to hundreds every day. 

The company, which is based in Rockville, did not immediately respond to an inquiry. 

Health officials say they are waiting for further information before advising people on what to do if they took one of the saliva tests. 

Other test sites are open and people with symptoms are urged to get tested. 

In other coronavirus news in the county, more people age 19 and younger are testing positive for the virus, health director Dr. Travis Gayles said. New cases in this group increased more than 16% in the past month, he said. 

The county will receive more than $1.1 million in state grant funds to expand broadband access for education. Prince George’s County will get more than $500,000. 

And the county is still urging private schools to keep their buildings closed and follow the lead of public schools. Most schools in the state will start virtual learning soon. 

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