A national coronavirus test provider cut D.C.'s weekly supply of COVID-19 tests by one-fifth, according to city officials.
LabCorp was providing D.C. with 10,000 coronavirus tests available to the public each week, with no appointment or symptoms required for testing. Now, that number has been cut to 8,000 per week.
Later Monday, LabCorp informed D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser it would increase the weekly allotment of COVID-19 test kits back to 10,000 by the end of week. There is no guarantee the tests won’t be reduced again at later date.
On Monday morning, dozens of people were turned away from a testing location on F Street after the National Guard cut a testing line off after 300 tests.
Chris Geldart, Operations Chief for D.C.'s coronavirus response, tells News4 that LabCorp, the primary supplier of tests for the city and much of the country, began reducing and limiting the number of test kits about a month ago.
D.C. health officials want people to go to their primary care provider for tests as a first option.
LabCorp cites an increase in national demand for tests, according to D.C. officials.
News4 received the following response from a LabCorp spokesperson:
"LabCorp has been working with D.C. officials throughout the pandemic in addressing the quantities of COVID-19 tests based on requests, and we will continue to do so. They have been a great partner, and LabCorp has significant additional capacity if needed. We currently have the capacity to perform 200,000 molecular tests per day and our average results delivery time is 1 day from specimen pickup."