Roscoe pop-up COVID testing center closed until further notice


Photo: Spectrum News 1, Milwaukee

The COVID testing center near Schnucks, Roscoe's only walk-in testing facility, will be closed until further notice after widespread complaints against the Illinois-based Center for Covid Control (CCC) and its laboratory Doctors Clinical Laboratory. All their locations, both company-owned and independent, were suddenly closed this week. Originally they planned to reopen Saturday, January 22, 2022, saying in an earlier news release, "CCC will use this operational pause for additional staff training in sample collection and handling, a refocus on customer service and communication practices, and ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines." Their signs said, "Free Rapid & PCR COVID Testing - No Apt Needed," though the company had stopped offering the more accurate PCR tests.

The SHIELD testing center at UIC Rockford at 1601 Parkview Avenue offers one of the best, fastest PCR tests. Just register before you go.

The community-based Chicago news outlet Block Club was the first to report problems: false negative results, expired or unrefrigerated test samples, and multiple state investigations, including the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. 

Block Club published social media posts from owners Aleya Siyaj, the CEO, who used to make wedding videos, and Akbar Ali Syed, the founder, who explained as he bid $400,000 for a Lamborghini, “My axe throwing lounges were forced shut by the gov due to covid. So I opened up a covid testing site than bought the lab and now i have 65 sites.” Their website later reported 300 locations receiving up to 90,000 tests per day. 

The lab's National Provider Identifier record says that the administrator is Mary Jane Tan Arambro in Chicago, but both the Center for Covid Control (CCC) and Doctors Clinical Laboratory have a Rolling Meadows, IL address. The lab also has a Chicago address.

The company issued a news release:

January 20, 2022 (Rolling Meadows, IL) – Center for Covid Control (CCC) announced today 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 samples until staffing resources permit CCC to operate at full capacity. As previously announced, CCC is using this operational pause to train additional staff on sample collection and handling, customer service and communications best practices, as well as compliance with regulatory guidelines. CCC will provide an update on reopening plans when appropriate.

Their website further adds:

All CCC locations are to be closed until further notice. You may report any location that is conducting business under the Center for Covid Control via email to [email protected]. Thank you, and stay safe!

The official State of Illinois testing website says, "If Your Lab Is Testing For COVID-19 And Would Like To Be Listed, Please Contact The Illinois Department Of Public Health." On that website, two other Rockford-area locations are listed under the same company heading as the closed Roscoe location, FREE Rapid & PCR Testing. And many others listed under Yorktown Clinical Lab Drive Thru, which doesn't have its own website, also link to the website and presumably have been sending PCR samples to Doctors Clinical Laboratory.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates Doctors Clinical Laboratory (CLIA Number: 14D0988472), found that at one point in November, the lab received  84,436 samples but could only process PCR tests for 43,240 of the samples. The lab didn't have enough staff to finish the tests within 72 hours, and not enough freezers to store them, “which resulted in the inability to test 41,196 patient test samples,” according to the report.

Positive result from the Roscoe facility - both QR codes take you to the same web page with no results
Negative result from the Roscoe facility - the QR code takes you to a web page with no results
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