COVID-19 test sites appear. Here’s how to avoid questionable issues

As new cases of COVID-19 have escalated in recent weeks, so have complaints about several suburban testing clinics that have left clients with no promised results or delays so long they return results. unnecessary.

State and local public health officials urge residents to find tests at state-approved testing sites available at Illinois Department of Public Health website,

IDPH officials warn that some pop-up clinics are unreliable.

“We want to urge caution with some of these clinics,” IDPH director Dr Ngozi Ezike said on Monday. “There are unfortunately those who take advantage of these crazy times to try to rip people off.”

But residents desperate to get tested have few options, even as the state’s 10 mass testing sites recently added staff and resumed operations six days a week, up from four days in due to the crushing demand which created long waits. The state’s 19 saliva-based SHIELD test sites are also often filled with people looking for tests.

Meetings at national drugstore chains are also clogged, while home testing kits are also sold out in most places.

“I get tested regularly because I am often in close contact with others and because of my parents’ condition, so I have seen many different test sites work and some are very bad,” said Micah Schuurman, teacher and pastor. from Costa Rica who has been back home in Winfield for months with his parents suffering from blood cancer. “There’s a site in West Chicago where my sister and I have been and she still hasn’t received her results and it’s been over a week. I’ve been there before and sometimes if we’re even able to ‘get results, it is often emailed in a corrupted file. However, the situation only got worse. “

On the last visit, Schuurman said the clinic was operated by only one worker instead of the dozen other clinics he was tested at.

Operators at this West Chicago site, a nationwide organization called the Center for COVID Control, have not responded to emails and phone calls about complaints from Schuurman and others at sites they operate elsewhere in the country. suburb.

None of the company’s clinics are listed on the state’s testing website. The company’s website only states that it is “in partnership” with an accredited laboratory, but does not specify which one.

“If you have any doubts about where you are considering testing, go ahead and ask a few questions,” Ezike said.

Ask which lab the clinic is affiliated with, when the results will be ready and who will send those results, she said.

The tests are also free, she added. Any clinic requesting payment is not a legitimate transaction.

Because these clinics are classified as businesses, the IDPH has no control over them, a spokesperson for the agency said. IDPH officials are asking anyone who believes they have been scammed by a contextual testing clinic to contact the office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

“Throughout the pandemic, the Attorney General’s office has been dedicated to protecting consumers from COVID-related scams and engaged with law enforcement partners to investigate scams related to COVID. pandemic, including those related to testing, ”said Annie Thompson, spokesperson for Raoul. . “We encourage members of the public who believe they have encountered a malfunctioning test site to file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General in visit our website, “

Most clinics will ask for insurance information for billing purposes, but it is not required in some, especially at state-run sites.

Colleen Miller, spokesperson for Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Illinois, has asked any customer who believes they have been abused to contact Raoul’s office or call the insurance company’s anti-fraud hotline (800) 543 -0867.

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