Yakima, WA – The Washington Attorney Generals Office filed a lawsuit against the Center for Covid Control (CCC) after allegations that their testing sites were improperly storing test samples and they provided false test results.
The Center for Covid Control has 300 testing sites throughout the United States. In Washington, there are 13 testing sites including the one in Yakima on 1731 South First Street. The Yakima location is the only one in Washington with a license.
Reyna Rivera went to the testing site in January. She and two of her three kids received a negative covid test. Her third kid never got their test results back. Trusting the test results, she attended her friend’s funeral.
“I wasn’t feel good but I got tested before I had a negative test and that is why I showed up and later on like last week I find out that everybody that attended the service pretty much got sick,” Rivera said. “I don’t know if that was me but I could’ve prevented that.”
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said she’s not alone, thousands of other Washingtonians had similar experiences at these testing sites.
The lawsuit he filed claims 1) the CCC improperly stored test samples in garbage bags 2) gave false test results 3) didn’t give test results in the time frame they were promised 4) mislabeled when samples were taken, among other allegations.
It also states that the owners told employees to lie to patients who called complaining they hadn’t gotten their test results by saying they would be ready in 24 hours – even if they weren’t – or that the test was inconclusive and they need to retest.
“You do the right thing, you take your test and you have a company that is willing to tell their employees to lie to Washingtonians to falsify documents to postdate documents to store these things improperly I don’t know where to start with a company that does that,” Ferguson said.
I reached out to the Center for Covid Control for comment on the allegations but they did not respond.
In a press release, the company said they had trouble keeping up with the demand in testing because of a staffing shortage. The release was later updated to say they would extend the temporary closures of their testing sites and use that time to properly train employees on the handling of samples.
The lawsuit claims the co-founders of the company willingly participated and encouraged this conduct.
“It’s one thing to act illegibly to pad your bottom line it’s another thing entirely to act illegally, to lie, to falsify results, when you know you are jeopardizing the health of your customers and the health of their loved ones,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said if his office wins the lawsuit, people like Rivera could potentially receive reparations like compensation for their hospital bills. He asks if you were affected by any of the CCC’s testing sites to reach out to his office because it could help the case.
According to the Yakima Health District Communications Director Stephanie Badillo-Sanchez, if there were false test results, local data could potentially not show the true severity of covid cases in the county.
“The impact it would have on the data locally would be that there would be less positive test results being reported which would lower the total case count and so less cases than there actually were,” Badillo-Sanchez said.
I reached out to the state department of health to see how it would potentially impact state data but they said they could not comment because of legal proceedings.
Article Source: Fox 11