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Lab Issues Lead to Halt in Testing

Massachusetts has suspended COVID-19 testing at Orig3n, a DNA testing company that switched over to coronavirus testing during the pandemic, WBUR reports.

It adds that health officials there had noticed an unusually high rate of positive test results reported by the company, which sparked an investigation. In particular, Bloomberg reports heath officials found that at least 383 coronavirus tests conducted by Orig3n were false positives, that the company did not use controls when processing its tests, and that it didn't properly document equipment sanitization. 

Coronavirus testing was halted at Orig3n in early August and Massachusetts health officials shared their findings with the company later that month, calling some of their findings "significant certification deficiencies," WBUR reports. It notes that Orig3n has until September 14 to respond with a plan of how to fix its issues or face sanctions.

"We're currently working with the state of Massachusetts to finalize steps that will enable us to resume testing in our Boston lab," Orig3n chief executive Robin Smith tells Bloomberg in an emailed statement.

Questions have previously been raised about Orig3n's DNA testing. Last year, former Orig3n employees told Bloomberg that testing there was error-prone, and, prior to that, NBC Chicago sent samples for testing that were from a dog, which were not recognized as such by the firm.