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COVID-Testing Firm Raided by Feds, Second Company Also Under Investigation

The Center for COVID Control, which has more than 100 testing sites around the country, including in Bay Area cities such as San Jose, San Ramon, and Mountain View, is facing scrutiny for its handling of testing; failing to follow health and safety protocol at some sites; significant delays for delivering results or delivering no results at all; intentionally giving patients false results, and destroying patients’ test kits before they could even be tested.

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According to Block Club Chicago, people at Center for COVID Control testing sites have reported a range of issues including dirty sites, long lines and crowded waiting rooms, workers without masks or gloves, and workers trying to charge people for tests that should be free.

By Brandon Ptterson

The headquarters of a major national COVID-19 testing chain was raided by federal investigators over the weekend after coming under growing scrutiny for its handling of COVID testing and other health protocol failures.

The chain, the Center for COVID Control, which has more than 100 testing sites around the country, including in Bay Area cities such as San Jose, San Ramon, and Mountain View, is facing scrutiny for its handling of testing; failing to follow health and safety protocol at some sites; significant delays for delivering results or delivering no results at all; intentionally giving patients false results, and destroying patients’ test kits before they could even be tested.

In a statement on its website, the company said all of its testing sites are closed until further notice.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees the company’s testing lab, found “non-compliance” and “deficiencies” at the lab, according to Block Club Chi, a local news outlet in Chicago, where the company is based.

Block Club Chicago broke the story. A review of the company in December cited the company for mistakes that rendered tens of thousands of tests untestable.

According to Block Club Chicago, people at Center for COVID Control testing sites have reported a range of issues including dirty sites, long lines and crowded waiting rooms, workers without masks or gloves, and workers trying to charge people for tests that should be free.

According to former employees who worked at the Center’s go-to lab, trash bags full of untested test kits lay around the lab unrefrigerated for days, which can damage the tests and make them unusable.

Other former employees said that when test results were delayed — often for several weeks — they were instructed to lie about results when people called to inquire. The husband of the company’s CEO has posted on social media about buying luxury cars with “COVID money” from the testing franchise.

“CCC remains committed to providing the highest level of customer service and diagnostic quality and will not resume collection of patient samples until staffing resources permit CCC to operate at full capacity,” the Center said in a statement on its website. “CCC will provide an update on reopening plans when appropriate.”

Meanwhile, a second national COVID testing company, O’Hare Clinic Lab, also came under scrutiny this week for similar issues.

The Chicago-based company, which has more than 100 locations across the country and has received more than $186 million in funding from the federal government, according to Block Club Chicago, is under investigation by the Illinois Department of Health and the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Many O’Hare patients told Block Club Chicago that they never got results or received them weeks late and that they couldn’t reach the company when trying to get answers.

O’Hare said in a statement that “the Omicron surge provided enormous unforeseen challenges” for the company but that the company was working to “provide our customers with the quick and reliable results they expect and deserve.”

This story was written using reporting from Block Club Chicago and NBC News Bay Area.

The post COVID-Testing Firm Raided by Feds, Second Company Also Under Investigation first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.

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