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COVID testing company closed for investigation for ‘foreseeable future’ – NBC Chicago

A suburban Chicago-based COVID-19 testing company will not reopen for the “foreseeable future,” according to the Illinois Attorney’s Office, which is investigating complaints against the company.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said the Center for COVID Control, which had already voluntarily suspended operations during the investigation, has agreed to “postpone the reopening of pop-up testing sites in Illinois for the foreseeable future.”

“Although the company has voluntarily ceased operations, my office contacted company officials to request that the Center for COVID Control immediately cease engaging in any fraudulent or deceptive conduct, particularly relating to the submission of test results or the reckoning,” Raoul said in a statement. “In addition to evaluating complaints from residents, attorneys in my Consumer Fraud Unit interviewed former employees at the Center for COVID Control.”

The Center for COVID Control did not respond to NBC 5’s request for comment.

The company has 320 test sites in 22 states, including many in the Chicago area, and is based in Rolling Meadows under its state license.

Raoul’s office told NBC 5 Responses earlier this month that it had launched an investigation into the company and its activities.

“I have launched an investigation by the Center for COVID Control in response to our residents contacting my office to report a number of worrisome issues at the Center for COVID Control’s pop-up COVID-19 testing sites throughout Illinois He said in a statement on Friday, “Complaints have ranged from test results being delayed or not received at all, to the provision of results to people who were never given a test, to improper test storage and the incorrect use of PPE and face masks.” the staff.”

For weeks, complaints ranging from no results to outright inaccurate results have led some states to launch formal investigations amid calls for more transparency into how the business is working.

Those complaints led to the company’s CEO, Aleya Siyaj, acknowledging some of the company’s missteps when it announced a week-long pause in operations to provide additional employee training and education.

“The Center for Covid Control is committed to serving our patients in the safest, most accurate and compliant manner,” Siyaj said in a press release. “Unfortunately, due to our rapid growth and unprecedented demand for testing recently, we have not been able to meet all of our commitments.”

The company said it would stop collecting test samples beginning January 14, but had planned to reopen on January 22, 2022.

“We have made this difficult decision to temporarily pause all operations until we are certain that all collection points meet our high quality standards,” Siyaj said earlier this month.

Several states have announced investigations at testing sites operated by the Center for COVID Control firm.

Several states have announced formal investigations into the company.

The Minnesota AG office filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the testing company and its lab, Doctors Clinical Laboratory, accusing the companies of fraud, deception and false advertising.

Chicago’s Better Business Bureau said it was actively investigating an influx of complaints about the company — from missing test results to employees asking for too much information.

“The company has not responded to inquiries from the BBB regarding the complaints,” said BBB spokesman Thomas Johnson. “The Center for Covid Control has the lowest grade that the BBB gives,” an F rating.

In addition to Illinois, the Attorneys General’s Offices in Oregon and Massachusetts, as well as the California Department of Health and Human Services, said they are investigating the company’s operations this week after receiving consumer complaints.

The Center for COVID Control did not respond to requests from NBC 5 about specific consumer complaints, and a spokesman for the company and Doctors Clinical Laboratory did not respond to requests for comment on the Minnesota lawsuit.

As if COVID-19 didn’t bring enough problems, the recent Omicron surge adds a new dilemma: concerns about certain pop-up test sites. Lisa Parker reports from NBC 5 Responses.

Last month, NBC 5’s company Vi Nguyen said that as demand for COVID-19 testing has increased, so has public complaints to local health officials, leading to government agencies standing in the way of its testing efforts.

“We’re constantly fighting the government agencies who are supposed to be helping us, but they’re making our lives much more difficult than it needs to be,” said owner Ali Syed.

With a surge in pop-up testing locations across the country, NBC 5 Responds has found some of the red flags to look out for when finding the best place to test. To learn more, click here.

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