Arizona AG ‘looking into’ pop-up COVID-19 testing sites
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Several pop-up COVID-19 testing sites in Arizona have shut down. Last weekend, the FBI raided the Center for COVID Control’s headquarters in Illinois, and now the Arizona Attorney General’s Office tells 3 On Your Side that it is looking into the business, too.
There have been 39 complaints about Center for Covid Control locations across the country, according to Steve Bernas, the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Chicago and Illinois. Some patients told the BBB that they never received their COVID-19 test results. Others believed they received erroneous test results. “The majority of complaints allege they did not get their results back from their tests or they paid for an additional fee to get it expedited only not to get it in a timely manner,” Bernas said. “Additionally, some of the complaints allege that the information received from them makes them think that the test results weren’t theirs because of some errors or omissions.”
At a Phoenix Center for Covid Control location on East McDowell Road, the doors are locked and the lights are off. According to a sign on the door, it was supposed to re-open on Jan. 22, but remains closed, just like hundreds of other locations across the country. On its website, the Center for Covid Control touts about 300 testing locations across the country, listing five in Arizona -- one in Phoenix, one in Glendale, two in Mesa, and one in Tucson.
“Arizona is aware of the allegations surrounding the Center for Covid Control and we are looking into them,” Katie Conner, a spokesperson for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, told 3 On Your Side
Attorneys general in Colorado, Illinois, and Oregon also confirm they’re investigating.
“Consumers are misinformed or misguided in some way, thinking that it’s a local healthcare center, and also regulated by the government or local public health department, but it’s not,” Bernas cautioned. “The Better Business Bureau suggests you go deal directly with your doctor’s office or your healthcare provider and get a referral from them to a test site or call your local public health organization and see if you can get a referral from them.”
The Center for Covid Control said on its website that it plans to re-open testing sites. “CCC is using this operational pause to train additional staff on sample collection and handling, customer service and communications best practices, as well as compliance with regulatory guidelines,” the site reads. 3 On Your Side attempted to reach the company, but phone calls and emails have gone unanswered.
Conner didn’t say how many complaints the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has received about the Center for Covid Control, but said anyone who believes they are a victim of consumer fraud should file a complaint with the office.
According to Bernas, the BBB has received complaints about 21 other pop-up COVID testing companies that are headquartered in the Chicago area and operating nationwide. Bernas says the BBB is working with investigators.
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