Re-Tests Urged as Lab Ordered to Stop Taking COVID-19 Specimens

    Secretary Robert R. Neall of the Maryland Department of Health on Saturday issued an order requiring Advanced Pain Medicine Institute, which has offices in Greenbelt, to immediately stop all collection and processing of COVID-19 specimens.

    The order was issued after the health department received a complaint about coronavirus testing sites operated in coordination with APMI. An investigation into operations at the APMI sites revealed concerns, including its lack of a certification to perform COVID-19 tests and patients’ inability to obtain test results.

    APMI has conducted COVID-19 testing at several events in this month, including:

    • June 6 at Church of Philippi, 7422 Race Road, Hanover
    • June 13 at Southern Baptist Church, 1701 North Chester St., Baltimore
    • June 16 at Bilingual Christian Church, 6000 Erdman Ave., Baltimore

    Patients who received COVID-19 tests at any of these events are warned the results may be erroneous, the state health department said in a news release. These patients are encouraged to consider getting another test and, if symptomatic, to seek medical attention.

    The state’s order requires APMI to notify patients that their test results may be erroneous and to give the Maryland Department of Health a complete accounting of all individuals that it tested.

    A separate letter issued by MDH’s Office of Health Care Quality suspends APMI’s license to operate a medical laboratory and perform all laboratory testing.

    “The Maryland Department of Health’s primary concern is the health and safety of Marylanders,” said Secretary Neall in a news release. “Until Advanced Pain Medicine Institute demonstrates that it is in full compliance with the Code of Maryland Regulations, it must cease all COVID-19 specimen collection and processing.”

    MDH is working in conjunction with the local health departments in Howard County, Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City to ensure that those who were tested at the events listed above are aware of this action and where they may be retested.

    A list of major testing sites in the state can be found at https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/symptoms-testing.

    In the past day, 335 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Maryland, where about 7,500 negative test results were also reported. Since the beginning of June, hospitalizations from the virus are down more than 60 percent statewide, according to state data.

    There were 1,174 people hospitalized with the virus on June 1, compared with 446 patients June 28.

    The Adventist Health Care System told The Washington Post that the level of severity of the virus has not declined, with about one in five patients hospitalized dying from the virus at its facilities in Fort Washington, Shady Grove and White Oak.

    And at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, the hospital’s infectious disease chief told the Post 40% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients require critical care.

    To see the story by Deb Belt as it originally appeared on Patch.com, click here

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