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Investigation into COVID-19 test company suspends operations in Jacksonville, other cities

Investigation into COVID-19 test company suspends operations in Jacksonville, other cities

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A COVID-19 testing company with a downtown Jacksonville location has suspended operations.

This comes after the News4JAX I-TEAM started asking questions about its activities and when people get results.

Center for COVID Control says it has more than 300 testing sites across the country. The downtown Jacksonville location was still open Thursday, but the company said it was suspending operations Friday with plans to reopen next Saturday. It said increased demand has impacted its service. The I-TEAM has been investigating this site since learning of problems in other locations and found that there is little oversight.

Complaints against the Center for COVID Control have poured in to Better Business Bureaus across the country. People have complained about not receiving test results from the popup test sites. In Southwest Florida, people complained about: emailed them their test results while they were still in line to take the test.

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dr. Saman Soleymani of Avecina Health in Jacksonville said six to eight patients have come to his practice in recent weeks after complaining about the same thing, though he declined to say where they had been tested before.

“Of course we saw them. They were symptomatic and tested positive,” Soleymani said.

We went to the Center for COVID Control site upstairs past a coffee shop on Bay Street. I filled in my insurance details and took the test. The results were negative after about two hours, as promised.

But how do we know they are accurate?

The federal lab ID number listed on patient results is associated with an Illinois lab, Doctors Clinical Laboratory, which has the same registered address as Center for COVID Control.

But workers told us that the results are achieved internally.

The I-TEAM contacted the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and was told that testing sites for COVID-19 must be registered with a lab, but in some cases it’s okay to be registered with a lab that’s outside of the United States. state is located.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some tests don’t need to be performed in federally licensed labs, although the CDC recognizes that some of those tests can contain errors, especially when test personnel are unfamiliar with the system.

The I-TEAM asked Center for COVID Control what kind of testing it does, but the company replied that it was suspending the service, citing high demand for testing due to the micro wave that pressured staff in some locations.

In a statement, the company said, “CCC will use this operational hiatus for additional staff training in sample collection and handling, refocusing on customer service and communication practices, and ensuring regulatory compliance.”

Federal data shows that the lab associated with the Center for COVID Control has received more than $113 million from the federal government in compensation for COVID-19 testing for people without insurance.

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The company also said Thursday it was responding to inquiries from several public health and regulatory authorities.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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