Center for Covid Control testing sites still closed

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 1:54 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Both Center for Covid Control testing sites remain closed Friday in Bryan and College Station. This happened after KBTX started asking questions about the way they do business.

The Center for Covid Control violated Governor Greg Abbott’s orders by failing to share testing data with the state.

On Jan. 6, KBTX reported they weren’t sharing their results with the Brazos County Health District, a violation of orders by Gov. Greg Abbott. The Brazos County Health District says the company is beginning to show signs of compliance. Sara Mendez, Brazos County Health District Support Services Manager, said the testing site turned in two days of testing results.

Their previously popular location in College Station has been closed since last Friday. As we began asking questions, a former employee told us the Center for Covid Control was pausing operations due to supply chain shortages. We still haven’t heard when they might reopen.

For weeks, hundreds of people stopped by the Center for Covid Control testing centers in College Station and Bryan, but not now. Both locations in Bryan-College Station have been closed for a week, and we’re still hearing complaints about testing.

“It was stressful because I mean you know being sick is bad enough,” said Jennifer Bailey of Caldwell. She got tested in Bryan January 5 and needed a negative result to return back to work. “It was about six or seven days before I actually got anything,” she said.

The Department of State Health Services says labs are required to register with their office and report data regularly. Their website tells Texans compliance is monitored closely and reported daily. Still, state health services, The Brazos County Health District, and local code enforcement told us they don’t have authority over the facilities.

The health district says they don’t know when the sites might reopen. “The last communication we had with them was that they were going to pause operations until they were able to get more testing supplies,” said Sara Mendez.

The lab is showing signs they may begin complying with the governor’s order. “So far we have received about two days of test results from them. We have not had the opportunity yet to go through and vet those,” said Mendez.

“Their word was already broken on mine,” said Bailey, as she talked about it being too little, too late.

College Station city staff said Friday afternoon mobile medical units like this are exempt from vendor permits.

That means they can operate here as long as they have permission from the property owner.

A similar looking testing site is expected to open soon at the former Red Lobster on University Drive.

A former employee with Center for Covid Control said that new location will be with a different company. We asked health experts how to make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of when you visit mobile sites like these.

“Most of them will ask if you have insurance it’s not a requirement to have insurance though. But if you do then you would share that insurance information as well as a lot of the testing locations do want you to have some sort of picture ID,” said Mendez.

The health district suggests you trust your instincts.

“Other than that if it doesn’t feel right or if you feel like they’re asking for more information that is needed then you may want to question the reason of why they need that information,” she said.

The Brazos County Health District has a list of COVID testing sites in our area on their website here.

State Representatives Kyle Kacal and John Raney have also been looking into pop-up testing sites after our reports.

Other states including Illinois, Florida and Washington are looking into Center for Covid Control operations.

The City of Lakewood, WA reached out to us this week to tell us a site in their city voluntarily shut down on Wednesday after it was determined they failed to pay a $73 business license required by Washington State.

“The Center for Covid Control, we became aware of some rumors circulating online... There was a lot of concerning allegations and we decided to take a look via code enforcement to make sure that you know that standard practices were being followed,” said Jim Kopriva, City of Lakewood, WA Communications Manager.

“When that business is acting in the role that it is, collecting all that sensitive personal information, conducting all that important testing and they don’t have a $73 business license from our state [Washington] that set up some red flags,” said Kopriva.

We have left multiple messages for Center for Covid Control senior management but have never heard back.

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