COVID-19 testing company under state investigation to ‘pause operations’

Coronavirus

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A COVID-19 testing company under investigation by state officials and the Better Business Bureau has announced it will “pause operations” after days of scrutiny.

In a statement on its website, the Center for Covid Control, which has three locations in the Portland metro area, said demand for testing amid the ongoing omicron variant surge “has stressed staffing resources, as has been widely reported, in a subset of our locations, affecting our usual customer service standards and diagnostic goals.”

The company’s operational pause starts Friday, Jan. 14 and will resume testing on Saturday, Jan. 22.

The Oregon attorney general’s office and Better Business Bureau confirmed to KOIN 6 News they are actively investigating the Center for Covid Control. A KOIN 6 News crew found three related pop-up stations that have been operating in the metro area.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Justice confirmed to KOIN 6 they have received 10 more written complaints about the Center for Covid Control.

The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed they have not received test results from any laboratory called the Center for Covid Control, which is required by the state.

OHA told KOIN 6 News the health agency has now elevated this issue regarding the company to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at its Seattle office.

Meanwhile, the Oregon DOJ wants Oregonians to be aware of suspicious COVID testing sites.

“If you are searching for a test and you find a testing center, ask questions, look for information, online questions like who is processing this?” said Kristina Edmunson with the Oregon DOJ. “Is it a well-known lab laboratory that’s processing this test? What is the timeline like for the test?”

Officials said Oregonians should be cautious about pop-up testing sites that: charge out-of-pocket fees, do not display logos, do not disclose the laboratory performing the test, are not affiliated with a known organization or that ask for sensitive information, like social security numbers, that’s not necessary for insurance.

If you need to get tested, the best places to search are your doctor, local pharmacy or the OHA’s testing locator.

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