REPORTS: Local COVID Testing Chain Closed Amid Federal Investigation
If you have been looking to get tested at a location billed as the “Center for COVID Control” but have found it closed, you may think it’s because of some combination of huge demand and the much-publicized labor shortage. As a matter of fact, that’s what the company says on their website. However, internet documents say it’s heightened public scrutiny and Federal criminal investigations that may be to blame!
NOT ALL COVID TESTING LOCATIONS ARE CREATED EQUAL
This story from the USA Today cites such documents:
In an internal company memo addressed to “all location owners and managers” and obtained by USA TODAY, the Center for COVID Control cited “increased scrutiny by the media into the operations of our collection sites” over the past week. The company says it processes 80,000 test requests per day.
“This, coupled with various customer complaints, resulted in various state health departments and even Department of Justice taking a keen interest in our company,” the notice said.
As a matter of fact, various other states have opened investigations into the CCC after complains of people not getting tests, getting false negatives, and even people recieving results who have never tested with the company at all!
The Center for COVID Control, which is based in Rolling Meadows, says it uses an “independent” lab to process the samples it collects. But take a look at this section from a piece by NBC News:
The center’s website states that it is “partnered with a CDC approved & licensed laboratory which is registered with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).”
That laboratory, called Doctors Clinical Laboratory, comes up in the CDC’s certified lab search at two addresses, one of which is the same Rolling Meadows, Illinois address listed for the Center for Covid Control’s business registration. The laboratory has been in operation since 2001, according to business records.
Calls placed on Thursday to the phone number listed on the Doctors Clinical Lab website went to an outgoing message that says, “Thank you for calling the Center for Covid Control.”
But a spokesperson for the Center for Covid Control said there is “no cross-ownership or coventry business affiliation between the two entities.”
A spokesperson for CMS, which oversees the laboratory certification process, said the agency is investigating Doctors Clinical Lab. It has “identified non-compliance and is waiting for a response from the laboratory to the deficiencies cited.”
Now, I’m not saying the same people who have opened up an ax throwing business and a donut shop CAN’T start a COVID testing chain, but it certainly raises eyebrows — especially when they brag about how “COVID money” bought their sports cars.
Need a few more reasons to be fishy of pop-up COVID testing locations?
To be fair, opening up a testing site like this is not illegal. I’m sure there are private testing companies that are trying to do right by the people they serve, but when these types of businesses are not regulated, the door is open to greedy individuals looking to capitalize on a national emergency.
For how to find legitimate testing locations verified by local and national health organizations that use approved laboratories, click here.