COVID-19: How to check the legitimacy of a testing site

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After thinking she showed up too late Thursday, a woman tried again Friday to get a COVID test in Downtown Jacksonville, but she found a sign saying the site on West Bay Street was closed.

“I wasted my gas twice, I came yesterday, and they was closed yesterday,” she said.

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The site is one of 275 testing sites across the country run by the Center for COVID Control. The company says it halted operations because of overwhelmingly high demand for tests, saying its normal 8,000 tests a day ballooned to over 80,000 in a matter of weeks.

According to the Better Business Bureau, the company has received complaints from across the country of people waiting days for test results.

The woman, whose family members have used the site before, suspects her loved ones may have received inaccurate results, and questions the site’s legitimacy.

Tom Stephens with the BBB of Northeast Florida says he believes the site in Downtown Jacksonville is legitimate.

He says if you are unsure of any site, you can check with the FDA, the State Health Department, and Health and Human Services.

“Take the name of the company that you’re supposed to be getting tested with — like in this case it’s Center for COVID Control — and put that into Google and put ‘scam’ or ‘reviews’ behind those words, and if there’s anything out there it’ll come up,” he said.

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As for the woman Action News Jax talked to, she’s hoping other families don’t have the same disappointment she did.

“Stay safe,” she said.

Despite the sign at the site saying “permanently closed,” the Center for Covid Control says online that it plans to reopen its sites on Saturday, Jan. 22.

The Florida Attorney General’s office tells Action News Jax it’s gotten three complaints about the Center for Covid Control’s testing sites in Fort Lauderdale, Bonita Springs and Altamonte Springs.

The Attorney General’s office says its consumer protection division is reviewing the complaints.