COVID testing chain under investigation temporarily shuts down

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — A controversial COVID-19 testing chain is temporarily shutting down amid a federal investigation and mounting complaints.   

The Center for Covid Control, a national chain with more than 300 testing sites, with 30 across Chicago, is slated to shut down for one week, starting Friday, as first reported by Block Club Chicago.

Earlier in the week, WGN News reported on a Rolling Meadows location under investigation following dozens of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

“I haven’t gotten my test results,” Ruth Evans told WGN News on Tuesday. The Chicago resident went to the free Covid testing site on the North Side expecting results in two days but said “it’s been longer than that.”  

“They are not responding to complaints at all,” said Steve Bernas, president of Chicago’s Better Business Bureau. He warned people about the pop-up testing sites affiliated with the Center of Covid Control.

“Majority of complaints allege that there’s no response after the taking of the test, there’s a payment required for expedited services, and they don’t get the expedited response,” Bernas added.

The BBB gave the Center for Covid Control an ‘F’ rating. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is investigating the company, which is not licensed or regulated by any government agency.   

In response, Center for Covid Control CEO Aleya Siyaj said, “Regrettably, due to our rapid growth and the unprecedented recent demand for testing, we haven’t been able to meet all our commitments. We’ve made this difficult decision to temporarily pause all operations, until we are confident that all collection sites are meeting our high standards for quality.”  

The company said the intense demand for testing during the omicron surge had strained staff members, leading to long wait times at test centers and delayed results.   

During the hiatus, the CEO says the company will hire additional staff, improve customer service, and make sure they can comply with regulatory guidelines for covid testing.   

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