Worcester COVID-19 Test Site Shut By State Pledges To Reopen

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WORCESTER, MA — A chain of questionable COVID-19 test sites is pledging to reopen this weekend after pausing operations across the nation — a move that coincided with several states, including Massachusetts, acting to shut down test centers.

On Friday, the Center for COVID Control (CCC) paused testing at its 300 or so sites nationwide citing high demand. That statement followed cease-and-desist letters issued by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) and local governments on Thursday, which shut down test sites in Worcester, Dartmouth and Needham. DPH said the test sites were operating without the correct state permits.

"Regrettably, due to our rapid growth and the unprecedented recent demand for testing, we haven't been able to meet all our commitments,” CCC CEO Aleya Siyaj said in the news release. “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."

Siyaj, who is also the owner of an Illinois ax-throwing venue, said the chain would reopen its test sites on Jan. 22.

Authorities in states like California, Washington and Oregon have all made moves to either shutter or investigate the Illinois-based CCC.

Visitors to the Worcester site have complained of long wait times to receive results from rapid antigen tests. The company's website said those results typically come back in about three hours. Visitors at other sites have complained of strange circumstances, including a Florida family that said they received negative test results before they took tests.

A spokesperson for Attorney General Maura Healey said last week the AG's office received five formal complaints about CCC and is investigating all of them.

This article originally appeared on the Worcester Patch

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