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Investigators Launch Probe Into COVID Testing Company

Officials from the California Department of Public Health and Mountain View Police Department are investigating a series of complaints surrounding a Chicago-based COVID-19 testing company operating in the Bay Area.

The Center for COVID Control is a private company and it provides free testing at pop-up sites in San Jose, Mountain View and San Ramon; however, the company is facing questions surrounding its operating practices and test results.

Waiting For Results

NBC Bay Area visited Center for COVID Control’s testing location in San Jose and saw dozens of people waiting in line to get tested.

“We’ve been standing out here for more than a half an hour and there’s been no one,” Amanda Mussynski told NBC Bay Area. “It’s kind of a bummer and a waste of time.”

A sign on the front door indicated testing would start at 7 a.m.,  but by 10 a.m., those in line grew tired of waiting and decided to leave.

I’m frustrated right now,” another test taker told NBC Bay Area. “It’s just confusion.”

Even when testing sites are open, some people still report having trouble getting results. NBC Bay Area spoke to one woman who told us on the phone she took a test administered by the company on December 28 and still hasn’t heard back.

Licensed to Operate?

NBC Bay Area contacted state and local regulators about the testing center. A spokesperson for the city of Mountain View said Center for COVID Control does not have a business license to operate in the city and investigators are looking into the matter.

Representatives from CDPH said they have also received questions about this company but could not comment on a complaint investigation in progress.

The Center for COVID Control declined our interview request and sent a general statement saying, “As with any fast growing organization, we are constantly working to improve processes.” The spokesperson added they are experiencing high demand which may contribute to delays for patients.

As for why the San Jose location never opened Wednesday, a manager at the site told NBC Bay Area staff was uncomfortable with NBC Bay Area’s new coverage. When we asked why he was operating without a business license, the manager acknowledged it was “a miss” and said he applied for a license Wednesday morning.

Coast to Coast Complaints

The questions here in California follow weeks of complaints about Center for COVID Control testing throughout the country. In Oregon, the state Department of Justice opened an investigation looking into potential violations of the Unfair Trade Practices Act. In Chicago, the Better Business Bureau says it’s received more than a dozen complaints from people who never received results.

Pop-Up Testing

California health regulators say they are also looking into concerns about pop-up testing sites throughout the state. CDPH told NBC Bay Area in a statement, “These sites that are allegedly collecting samples for testing have generated questions and concerns about business practices related to pricing, the validity of tests and sample handling, and a failure to report test results.”

The state recommends anyone looking for a test to visit covid.19.ca.gov.

If you have a tip for the Investigative Unit, click here to submit online, or call 888-996-TIPS. Follow Candice on Facebook and Twitter at @CandiceNguyenTV, or send her an email at Candice.Nguyen@nbcuni.com


Source: NBC Bay Area

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