A company that operates COVID-19 test sites in Cincinnati and other cities temporarily ceased operations Thursday amid mounting criticism of its business practices and the accuracy of its tests.
The Center for COVID Control, which runs at least five test sites in southwest Ohio, issued a statement saying high demand for tests and stress on its staff have damaged the company's ability to deliver quality service.
The company's founder and CEO, Aleya Siyaj, said the Illinois-based company will pause operations for one week until the problems are fixed.
"Regrettably, due to our rapid growth and the unprecedented recent demand for testing, we haven't been able to meet all our commitments,” Siyaj said. “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."
Cincinnati-area health officials said they've received complaints about the company's test sites, as have officials in several other states. A USA TODAY story last week documented complaints about test accuracy and long delays in several cities.
The company's Cincinnati regional sites are in East Price Hill, White Oak, Anderson Township, West Chester Township and Finneytown.
The Enquirer this week visited the White Oak site, located in a former strip mall barbershop, and the East Price Hill site, located in a trailer on a vacant lot, and found them to be busy.
Signs declared the company's rapid tests were free and did not require insurance. But an online form patients are asked to fill out required personal information, including a full name, address, driver's license or passport number, a photo, an insurance provider, cell phone and email.
Cincinnati health officials said they knew nothing about the company and its sites were not included on their approved list of test sites.
"We've never heard of that company," said Ashanti Salter, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati Health Department.
She said test sites don't need to collect so much personal information before providing a test.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: COVID-19 test complaints: Company closes sites after complaints mount