It’s been a rough week for COVID testing companies that pop up as state and federal investigations heat up into some of their big companies. A rapidly growing industry is likely to experience a similarly rapid end.
The Centers for COVID Control, the Rolling Meadows-based testing company that manages hundreds of testing sites and is now the source of many federal and state probes, is likely to close.
The company’s owner told employees in a video conference Thursday night, according to a Block Club Chicago newsletter.
The news comes after state authorities this week confirmed two more Illinois-based labs, O’Hare Clinical Laboratory and Northshore . Clinical Laboratory, is being investigated after numerous consumer complaints.
Each company received hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes, according to CDC data.
With so much money at stake, the question is on the minds of many, including federalists, how did this mess get to be so big?
“It was mayhem… it was the wild west.“
Dr William Rasmussen said he didn’t think much of it at first when he learned of the new neighbors who moved in last October, besides his 16-year practice of Garfield Ridge Chiropractic.
Then the crowd started to appear.
The neighbours? Centers for COVID Control (CCC).
“It’s a mess. I mean, it’s a wild west,” Rasmussen said.
The new CCC testing site is located next to Rasmussen’s office, sharing the same lobby and atmosphere as his patients. In his eyes, Rasmussen says there are very few organizations, with security protocols in place.
“People were lining up outside the door,” Rasmussen said. “They were in the clinic, and it was intolerable.”
The images that Rasmussen captured on his security cameras in the lobby and phones tell the story: overcrowded, without social distancing, people filling out paperwork wherever they are vacancies can be found.
In some cases, he said CCC staff had performed swab tests on patients in the common lobby.
“Guess, [there were] probably close to 200 [people] in the morning and 200 more in the afternoon,” he explained. And there will be a percentage of those who participate that is active. And if they’re sitting in the reception room, you’re sitting with a loaded gun. “
Rasmussen said some of his patients have started canceling their appointments to avoid the growing crowds.
NBC 5 Responds could not be reached by the manager of the CCC test site for comment. The building’s owners said they tried to reconcile the situation as best as possible for both tenants, but did not comment further.
Company roadmap nationwide
It is complaints like these that have put the CCC on the radar of federal and state investigators, including an active investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI and Office of the Inspector General of Health and Human Services, as well as several offices of the State Attorney General.
FBI agents confirmed serving a search warrant at CCC headquarters in Rolling Meadows late last week.
A CCC spokesman said it was “fully cooperating with all government requests.”
The FBI raided the headquarters of a Chicago-based COVID-19 testing company that is at the center of the state investigation. NBC 5 Responds’ Lisa Parker reported.
Records show that the company’s owners, husband and wife team Aleya Siyaj and Akbar ‘Ali’ Syed, developed an experimental empire spanning 22 states with more than 300 locations in the span of a year.
So how did the experimental company grow so quickly? A document obtained by NBC 5 Responds may provide a glimpse.
In part, the company had some independent arrangements with “collection site managers”, according to NBC 5’s pre-reportand an internal brochure for the CCC, obtained by NBC 5 Responds.
The document is written for anyone “interested in opening a COVID-19 collection and transportation site” and appears to be a road map on how to “get started,” including how to find one. too close to the company’s other collection sites “to avoid conflicts.”
In its introduction, the company states that venue managers are given priority to lease monthly leases, in the event “funding is taken away by the government”.
Funding, as in CCC’s main lab, Physicians’ Clinical Laboratories (DCL), is worth more than $150 million, received from the federal government to date.
A CCC spokesperson confirmed that with a ‘managed service agreement’ between CCC and DCL.
The company’s brochure was provided to NBC 5 Responds by an anonymous source. NBC 5 verified that the document was sent from the CCC email address to a potential location manager.
Although the document mentions a separate “pager” containing details of the supply, the introductory guide contains no safety directives or details on finding locations for social distancing activities. It provides contact information for the company’s Referral Representative.
NBC 5 Responds has repeatedly emailed CCC questions about the document, but the company has not responded.
The company previously attributed its challenges to a sudden increase in omicron infections this past winter. One company owner told NBC 5 that the company went from testing “8,000 people a day down to 80,000.”
The company’s brochure states, “the venue manager must obtain all necessary permits and permits from the city’s village hall.” NBC Bay Area Found at least one test site in Mountain View, California, which city officials say is unlicensed.
In Chicago, the testing sites do not require a local permit, according to the city’s Department of Business & Consumer Protection (BACP).
Rasmussen told NBC 5 that he has repeatedly tried to contact city, county, state and federal officials about the CCC testing site next to his office, but no one has been able to help him.
While labs that test for COVID-19 are required to have federal certification, collection sites are not regulated, according to Illinois state officials.
“People keep telling me it’s not us. We don’t manage them,” says Rasmussen, adding that he feels the test sites “need a certificate”.
“Federal agencies and state governments [need to] Step on the plate and write the rule right away,” Rasmussen said.
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https://www.nbcchicago.com/consumer/internal-docs-show-path-to-controversial-covid-testing-companys-quick-rise/2741453/ Internal Document Shows Link To The Rise Of Controversial COVID Testing Company – NBC Chicago