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DHEC reports fraudulent testing at pop-up COVID testing site in Wando

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:17 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:36 PM EST
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WANDO, S.C. (WCSC) - The area behind a strip mall on Clements Ferry Road in Wando was once bustling with Charlestonians desperate for a test is now empty again. The staggering Omicron surge has made testing sites in South Carolina and the country busier than ever.

The parent company, Chicago-based “Center for COVID control,” behind the pop-up clinic promised free rapid testing and no appointment needed.

But now it’s closed along with its 275 locations nationwide due to a staffing shortage, according to a press release.

Carolyn Moorer got a test there on Sunday but noticed some red flags.

“It was just weird to me,” Moorer said. “I haven’t been to a testing site that was set up like that, in the back of a building. It was just weird.”

DHEC reports that the site was “fraudulent” for failing to report testing results to the state or using a certified laboratory one approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS, the government agency which regulates laboratory testing.

“I don’t like to hear something like that,” said Donna Hubbard who is seeking seeking a COVID test. ”And I know that on our Facebook page, the group for the peninsula, a few people felt like this test wasn’t a good place to get the test because everyone was getting a negative.”

Donna Hubbard is one of several folks who stopped by at the site on Friday hoping for a test. DHEC reported the site on Jan. 12 and is working with CMS to determine “next steps.”

Our sister station KPTV in Portland, Oregon also reports that the Department of Justice is investigating the company for “unlawful trading practices.”

The testing site company says they’ll be back up and running by next week.

But for cautious testers like Hubbard, she says she’s not sure she’ll return.

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