The Illinois attorney general announced the Center for COVID Control, which operated testing sites in Lake and McHenry counties, will remain closed as an investigation is underway into the company.
On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced he had filed a lawsuit against Illinois-based Center for COVID Control and their associated lab, Doctors Clinical Laboratory.
Ellison said the companies “either failed to deliver test results or delivered test results that were falsified or inaccurate.”
“Former employees of Center for Covid Control reported that, while the company could initially handle its load of local tests, its processing center failed to expand as the company opened up testing sites around the country, including in Minnesota,” Ellison said in a statement.
“The results, as one former employee described, were chaos, with received samples being stuffed into trash bags strewn across the office floor. Former employees recounted finding samples in bags that were well over 48 hours old, being instructed by management to falsify dates of receipt, and being instructed to lie to consumers about their tests being inconclusive or negative when, in fact, the sample had not been tested,” Ellison added.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul issued a statement Thursday evening announcing the Center for COVID Control, which had recently temporarily closed all its locations, would not reopen in Illinois for the foreseeable future.
“I opened an investigation into the Center for COVID Control in response to our residents contacting my office to report a number of concerning issues at the Center for COVID Control’s pop-up COVID-19 testing locations throughout Illinois,” Raoul said.
“Complaints have ranged from testing results being delayed or not received at all, to results being provided to individuals who were never administered a test, to tests being stored improperly, and staff incorrectly using PPE and face masks,” Raoul said in the statement.
The company voluntarily suspended operations and the Illinois attorney general’s office demanded the company “immediately stop engaging in any fraudulent or deceptive conduct, particularly with respect to the delivery of testing results or billing.”
Attorneys with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office have interviewed former employees of the Center for COVID Control as part of the investigation.
“I […] would like to thank the residents who noticed something awry and contacted my office. I also appreciate the former employee whistleblowers who came forward to report practices that compromised tests. I am committed to protecting Illinois residents from unlawful conduct by companies operating pop-up COVID-19 testing facilities in our state,” Raoul said.
The Center for COVID Control operated approximately 300 testing sites, with locations throughout the Chicago area, including in Lake and McHenry counties.
Pop-up COVID-19 testing locations are not regulated by a government agency and Raoul said he recommends that people utilize state-sponsored testing sites.
Individuals can contact their health care providers for testing or testing center recommendations. People can also find a testing location by visiting the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website.