A struggling COVID-19 testing site set to reopen on Saturday at the Edison Mall may not open after all. The Bonita Springs site could suffer the same fate.
Not only is the Center for Covid Control under investigation by the federal government, but the city of Fort Myers cited the center for a code violation at its location in the parking lot of the Edison Mall.
According to a warning pasted on the door of the trailer, the Covid Control Center operates without a business tax receipt. This tax receipt was something the site did not give to the City.
In order to continue operating, the code violation notice states that the test site must “request and obtain a business tax receipt.” It was the first time the city had said even a word about the Center for Covid Control.
Now WINK News has learned that Bonita Springs View is closed. And a notice from Florida Power & Light hangs on the door saying the building’s power has been cut off.
On Friday, the federal government confirmed it was investigating labs and testing sites associated with the Center for Covid Control, the company at the center of a WINK News investigation.
WINK News confirmed that the company and one of its labs, Doctors Clinical Laboratory, sent people test results before they took a COVID-19 test.
The Center for Covid Control (CCC) has locations in southwest Florida and 272 others nationwide. WINK News first told you the story of Doug and Erin Kates, the couple who visited the Bonita Springs site and tested negative even before taking their test.
“Hopefully it will be closed soon,” Erin Kates said.
It suspended nationwide operations on January 14 in a bid to retrain employees and roll out new procedures.
The Minnesota Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the company, citing deceptive, deceptive, and fraudulent activity. Some in southwest Florida told WINK News the same.
Mary Farmer says she manages the Edison Mall Center for Covid Control site. And, she says, she knows the real reason the site was shut down.
“Everyone was closed who was ever associated with the Center for covid control. Everyone needs to be investigated to show they weren’t part of it,” Farmer said.
It planned to reopen its testing sites on Saturday. The Center for Covid Control says it made the announcement on Thursday, January 20.
However, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid said Friday it was aware of CCC’s plan to reopen Saturday.
The Cape Coral test site appears to be permanently closed.
It is not known if a site in Bonita Springs and the one in Fort Myers will reopen.
WINK News is contacting the City of Fort Myers for comment.
In a press release posted on its website, the Center for Covid Control said it was extending its pause on operations.
Here is their full statement:
“The Center for Covid Control (CCC) announced today that it is extending its pause on operations and will not be reopening on Saturday, January 22, 2022. CCC remains committed to providing the highest level of customer service and diagnostic quality and will not resume collection of patient specimens until staff resources allow CCC to operate at full capacity.As previously announced, CCC is taking advantage of this operational pause to train additional staff on collection and handling samples, customer service and communication best practices, and compliance with regulatory guidelines. CCC will provide an update on reopening plans as appropriate.”
So, based on the statement and the closures, WINK News called the Center for Covid Control. It was the first time a human had answered the phone. The help desk said they didn’t know what we were referring to and should direct inquiries to [email protected]
The Center for Covid Control has some time before it must respond to the Minnesota Attorney General’s 25-page lawsuit.
However, the CCC has yet to comment on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s 81-page investigation.
For now, we were told, all Center for Covid Control sites will remain closed until further notice.
Copyright 2022 Fort Myers Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written permission.