NEW BERLIN, WI — Center for Covid Control, a privately-owned COVID-19 testing business with a site advertised in New Berlin, will halt operations until Jan. 22 after concerns have filtered in about the company.
The Illinois-based company, which has locations across Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the nation, acknowledged issues in a news release and said the operations pause across the nation is to allow for further staff training across its over 275 listed locations.
Oregon is one of at least four states – including Washington, California, and Massachusetts – that have opened investigations into the company.
The Oregon Health Authority said they have received no test results from the company despite a law requiring them to be passed along to state or local health agencies, and the Oregon DOJ is investigating after receiving complaints.
The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois is also "actively looking into this company as they have recently received numerous complaints both locally and from across the country," BBB said on its website.
"Consumers allege problems with not receiving test results, poor customer service, and requesting personally identifiable information (driver's license, insurance, etc.)," BBB's website said.
For one site in Waukesha, Earl Mickler told FOX6 News he received a negative test result before he even stepped in the door to have the test done.
Other sites in Wisconsin have also come under question. The City of Appleton recently put out an alert about a location in Darboy that has received complaints about social distancing and optional mask-wearing, WBAY reports.
Over two dozen negative reviews were left for a testing site in Worcester, Massachusetts. Reviewers complained of long waits for testing results, or that the location was closed during advertised hours.
For some locations, there have been reports of people never receiving test results.
The company says the rapid spread of the omicron variant, including within its ranks of 3000 staff members, is to blame for customer inconveniences. The staffing challenges have caused patient wait times, inconsistent opening hours and delays in reporting test results, the company said in its news release.
The company added it saw a "dramatic spike" in testing demand after omicron first started spreading in the U.S., "equating to most individual testing sites seeing an overwhelming 10x increase in patients."
At a CCC testing site in Shorewood, Wisconsin on Tuesday, a sign could be seen in the window saying it is only offering rapid tests. The make-shift facility was marked by a lack of decor, empty floor space, and empty red interior walls. The site appeared to be staffed by two employees.
As they arrived, test-takers were instructed to take a bag containing a small vial and a nasal swab from a central table and to sit at a TV dinner tray nearby. Staff directed test-takers as a group to swab both nostrils five times each, and to then stir the swab in the vial of liquid at least 20 times.
While the company previously advertised several sites across the Milwaukee area on its website, including the one in New Berlin, none of them appear in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services' official list of community COVID-19 testing sites.
The New Berlin location was advertised as existing at 14005 Greenfield Avenue.
Colin Miner, Patch Staff, contributed to this report.