Henrico-based lab cutting 61 jobs as demand for COVID testing falls

Genetworx is laying off 61 employees as demand for the company’s COVID-19 testing drops. (Jack Jacobs photo)

With vaccinations helping keep COVID-19 more in check, a Henrico-based medical lab testing company is laying off dozens of employees as it sees less demand for the coronavirus testing services it introduced last year.

Genetworx will lay off 61 employees.

“This reduction will impact a portion of our employees and contract workers involved in the execution of our COVID-testing business,” a company spokeswoman said in an email. “We are hopeful that we can hire back our entire team and more as our new business lines succeed.”

The cuts follow a big ramp up in hiring last year, when Genetworx kicked off a push in December to hire “hundreds” of new employees to keep up with demand for testing at that time. That came several months after it announced a similar hiring blitz in July 2020.

The company said it has completed more than 5 million COVID-19 tests to date.

Founded in 2013, Genetworx offers pharmacogenetic testing, also called DNA drug-response testing, as well as pathogen and molecular testing.

The company introduced COVID-19 tests last year, and offers COVID-19 testing through both at-home kits and on-site testing services for clients such as schools, businesses, healthcare providers and state and local governments.

It plans to continue to offer COVID-19 tests after the layoffs.

The company expects the layoffs to be completed in August. Of the 61 total layoffs, 31 employees are set to be cut at the company’s headquarters at 4060 Innslake Drive with the remainder of the layoffs at offices at 4144 Innslake Drive and 1000 Technology Park Drive, according to a WARN notice the company filed in June.

The company said it doesn’t plan to shutter any offices in connection with the layoffs.

The spokeswoman declined to share what the company’s headcount will be after the layoffs. The company told the Richmond Times-Dispatch it had more than 1,000 employees in March.

Genetworx said it is now turning its attention toward the development of a new series of genetic tests to diagnose life-threatening diseases while they are still in their early, more treatable stages.

“We will be working with the FDA and other regulatory bodies to be sure that these and other tests are available to consumers with the scale and convenience that we provided during our COVID-19 testing rollout,” the spokeswoman said.

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