Natomas COVID-19 testing site disappears

Dozens of people line up on January 3, 2022 waiting for the Center for Covid Control testing site to open in Natomas. A month later, there were none. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

BY BRANDY TUZON BOYD
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Updated 9 a.m. Feb 12, 2022

A short-lived COVID-19 testing site that operated for several weeks in Natomas is among hundreds currently being examined by government officials across the country.

In a letter sent on February 10 to the Center for Covid Control, Requests from Attorney General Rob Bonta data supporting advertising claims made by the Illinois-based company on the Internet and on its California pop-up sites.

Just a month ago, dozens of people lined up daily at the makeshift testing site housed in a mobile modular building in the parking lot of the San Juan Village mall, located at the corner of Truxel and San Juan roads. .

But operations at all Center for Covid Control sites – including that of Natomas – have been “suspended” following media reports of complaints of invalid, false and delayed test results, or people not having received no results.

Demand for COVID-19 tests peaked after the holiday season. For example, a supply of test kits distributed free to South Natomas Library and North Natomas Library ran out within hours.

A South Natomas resident said she discovered the Center for Covid Control testing location on Google Maps advertised as a CDC testing site.

“Our family received the tests from this rapid testing location,” she said. Natomas buzz. “We followed the steps to register on the web link provided, gave our name, address, gender, ethnicity, copy of license ID, insurance card and phone numbers.”

“My husband and my son received their test confirmation immediately after registering. Within hours of giving our swabs to the workers. They received their results,” she said. “My daughter and I didn’t.”

Paperwork from a South Natomas resident said she was turned over to the Center for Covid Control testing site in Natomas. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

On January 2, the California Department of Public Health confirmed with Natomas buzz he received complaints about the test site and was investigating.

“The California Department of Public Health is aware of consumer complaints about pop-up testing sites throughout California,” read a statement sent to Natomas buzz. “These sites that allegedly collect samples for testing have raised questions and concerns about business practices related to pricing, test validity and sample handling, and failure to report test results. “

California Department of Public Health officials said clinical laboratory testing must meet federal regulatory requirements as well as California laboratory law. It was unclear, they said, if many sites raising suspicions were sending samples to an approved lab.

Neither the Center for Covid Control nor United Diagnostic Labs, the laboratory that would have processed samples taken from the Natomas site, held the clinical laboratory license required to test human samples for the purpose of evaluating the health, California Department of Public Health officials later confirmed with Natomas buzz.

The signage at the Natomas site was removed from the modular building and that building was moved from the parking lot a few days later. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

Another south Natomas resident said he saw signs for free Covid-19 testing in the mall.

“I went during their supposed opening hours the following week and there was a hand written sign saying it was closed, along with instructions for those who hadn’t gotten their results,” they said. Natomas buzz. “I felt uncomfortable and decided to look them up. They weren’t listed on any of the local resource pages, including Sacramento County.

In early January, workers at the Natomas testing site were observed handing out dozens of plastic bags containing a tube with a swab and instructions attached on a white card.

People have also been seen in the parking lot filling out the cards, uploading photos of their ID to a website URL specified on the card, and then dabbing their nostrils. Test site workers instructed individuals to put the card and plastic bag with the used swab in the tube in a cardboard box on a folding chair in front of the open door to the test site.

Workers at the Natomas test site declined to be interviewed by Natomas buzz. Email messages sent to the company were not returned and attempts to call the head office resulted in automated messages indicating wait times of more than three hours.

Bags containing used COVID-19 test swabs were collected from a cardboard box on a folding chair on January 3, 2022 at the Natomas testing site. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo

On January 20, the Center for Covid Control announced that it was indefinitely extending its pause on operations. Shortly after this announcement, the signage on the Natomas site was removed from the modular building and a few days later the building was completely removed from the parking lot.

Bonta’s letter is the latest in a series of high-profile actions questioning the operations of the Center for Covid Control. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against the company, it is being investigated by the Colorado attorney general and its headquarters raided by the FBI, according to news reports.

California Department of Public Health officials said Natomas buzz The state’s Field Laboratory Services Division does not publicly release the information and results of its investigations, adding that the information could be obtained through the Public Records Act process.

A request under the Public Records Act made by Natomas buzz, however, did not provide any records related to complaints, investigation, or violations on the Natomas test site. At press time, no requests for comment have been returned.

The state provides a website to help Californians find testing sites in local communities at https://covid19.ca.gov/get-tested/#how-to-get-tested. There are no disbursements for COVID-19 testing at a valid state-run testing site or your local public health department. An insured person can get tested for COVID-19 free of charge at these sites. If you are uninsured, the government pays for your test.

Dozens of people line up on January 7, 2022 in the rain at the Center for Covid Control testing site in Natomas. / NatomasBuzz.com Photo


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