ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles unveiled an ambitious COVID-19 testing plan made possible by a contract with AdvaGenix, a molecular diagnostics laboratory located in Rockville.

The self-administered oral swab test, developed by AdvaGenix, enables the County to expand testing to essential front line workers, nursing home staff and residents, and the general public, with test results available in fewer than 48 hours. Because it is an oral test, it can be self-administered, making it easier to conduct more tests in a less-invasive way and sites will need fewer staff.    

 In the first phase of the contract, which is underway, the County will receive a minimum of 7,500 tests per week. Priority groups to be tested initially will be first responders; nursing home and long-term facility staff and residents; and employees of the County’s Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. The second phase of the testing plan will begin the week of May 31 and will test County employees who are essential workers, and hospital workers and health care providers. Phase three begins June 8; and at that point, the County will begin receiving 20,000 tests per week. By then, testing is scheduled to begin at sites such as grocery stores and other essential businesses for their employees; and testing will also be available for the general public.

Testing for the general public will continue based on test availability.