Finding a short-term COVID-19 test can be challenging. WINK News met a father and mother who, looking for a test, went to a test location at a Bonita Springs strip mall. They stop, line up, and sign up for the test, but they get an email saying they’ve tested negative before taking the test.
WINK News looked at the test site and discovered that the company that runs the site is full of complaints, not just in Southwest Florida, but nearly everywhere.
Erin Kates is a wife, mother and COVID positive. Now she knew it but didn’t when she waited in line for the test.
Erin, her husband Doug, and their three children were looking for a test when they saw signs along US-41 in Bonita Springs.
“The moment you walk in it is almost like an election. Free COVID test. ”
While in line, they were asked to take their doctor’s clinical lab card, scan a QR code, and enter their name, address, driver’s license photo, and all of their personal insurance information.
“When we went to Centurylink, they didn’t need all that information,” says Erin Kates.
But Kates filled out the card anyway.
While waiting in line to take the test, they received a notification that their results were ready. Results for a test they are still lined up to take.
“We all received emails to all of us, all five of us, both of us and our three children saying that our rapid test came back negative,” says Erin Kates.
Kates said others in the line also received the same message.
Erin and Doug didn’t like it one bit. “So I confronted the man. I asked him what happened? “
Kates later emailed WINK News about what happened.
When trying to call the Centers for COVID Control, the organization sent Erin and Doug a message that their tests came back negative, the line said, “You are the one calling 121.”
The text message on the phone said a wait time of five minutes, then 6 minutes, then 8 minutes.
WINK News hung up after 40 minutes of waiting.
The next avenue of investigation is the card that Kates filled out.
Two sites were found in a Doctor’s Clinical Lab search; one ends with ‘.net’, the other ends with ‘.com.’
WINK News called the first ‘.net’ number. “We are not affiliated with Doctorsclinicallab.com,” said a spokesperson for the Miami-based company. We don’t know who they are.”
An official-looking website appears with a special message when searching for the number for the company ‘.com’.
No homepage, no “Table of Contents” tab; The first thing you see is the time and date stamped negative COVID-19 test when you clicked the link.
WINK News tried the link six times, with the same negative test result each time.
The next day, the page shows the message, “The patient you are trying to verify has been examined. If you need a copy of the report. Call our lab”.
Text is a phone number that, when called, notifies you that you are calling the COVID Control Center.
The company’s website says it’s headquartered in Illinois and operates more than 275 locations in 29 states.
It boasts free rapid COVID-19 tests that detect omicrons and claims it is highly effective, with results available at the end of the day. No appointment needed.
The Centers for COVID Control states that they are “Partnering with a CDC-approved and licensed laboratory”.
It looks and sounds good, but is it legal?
WINK News went to the test site in Bonita Springs and did not see social distancing and there were about 15-20 people in the hallway.
On one table were cards that Kates had filled out and there was only one person in the entire facility who said he had started working there four hours earlier.
WINK News reporter Michael Hudak asked, “Don’t you know the name of the company you just worked for now?”
Tyler Blackwell, who administers the tests, said, “all I can tell you is that the man who can answer all the questions will be back at any time.”
Blackwell reviewed that part, so Hudak asked, “Are you a nurse? Like, you have scrubs on. Are you like a registered nurse? ”
Blackwell said, “I don’t.”
Blackwell said he bought the scrubs and that anyone can find them at major retailers.
He said he had no medical training or expertise. He gave people toothpicks so they could pick their noses.
Erin Kates said, “This is. That is crime. Really angry. I hope it closes quickly. “
The test site also had a tip jar that said “Tips for Tony. Blackwell said that Tony was a man, but WINK News already knew that Tony was a dog.
WINK News has reached out to the Centers for COVID Control but has not received a response at the time of writing.
We have also reached out to the attorney general of Florida. She also did not respond, but her office has warned Floridians consumers to take precautions to protect their personal information when seeking a COVID-19 test. You can learn more about that warning by multiply here.
California is investigating COVID Control Center locations in their state, and the Illinois Department of Health has released a list of legal testing sites; The Centers for COVID Control, based in Illinois, is not on their list.
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https://www.winknews.com/2022/01/10/wink-news-investigates-covid-testing-location-in-bonita-springs-providing-negative-results-before-people-get-tested/ Bonita Springs COVID test site negative before everyone gets tested