Company running three Lee County COVID testing sites under investigation

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – A popular Lee County COVID-19 testing site used by thousands in recent weeks is shut down after investigations into the company that is running it.

The testing site at the Edison Mall has been packed for weeks with thousands of people crowding in to get a test. The Center For Covid Control is the company being accused of running a shady operation and has three locations in Lee County.

A man who wanted only to be identified as Dan was wearing a pair of black shorts, a T-shirt, and no mask as he was turning dozens of people away Thursday morning who showed up for a COVID-19 test.

One patient who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 at another site last week said she was disgusted. She wanted to know if she was negative and could return to work.

“I can’t go to work and give somebody else something,” she said.

Mike Hinkle was among those waiting in line with few options after they were told to leave.

“There was no more test kits. Once everyone got the message everyone left,” Hinkle said.

Then, the man known as Dan began taking down The Center For Covid Control sign hanging on the side of the mobile shed which had been used for weeks as a testing site.

“We had to shut down. The company can’t keep up with all of our tests were shipping into the lab,” Dan said.

He was well aware that the company that owned the site was being investigated across the country.

“There’s been some companies giving us a bad name and people think we’re a scam. We’re not a scam,” he insisted.

The company’s site in Cape Coral had about a dozen people standing in line Thursday morning. A person working inside said all questions would have to be referred to the company’s website.

However, the company’s Bonita Springs site is at the center of several complaints received by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office.

A sign outside instructs people to enter through an unmarked backdoor. The man inside operating it cracked the door open and began shouting vulgarities as a dog inside was barking.

The vulgar comments were made as patients were inside waiting for their test results. One couple exiting said they heard his vulgar language but excused it after they got the test results they said they came for.

Sara Lastra owns the Candy Lash Spa nearby and wasn’t surprised by the behavior.

“There have been some awkward experiences where I don’t even have results for some of my employees,” she noted.

Despite the shady atmosphere patients like John Garon were willing to enter and take their chances.

“Yeah, I’m desperate I want to go back to work, but I can’t and this is the only place that seems to have any openings,” Garon said as he proceeded.

According to the founder and CEO Aleya Siyaj, the company is experiencing high patient demand which has stressed staffing resources.

However, the Better Business Bureau is investigating a flood of negative reviews and as a result, has given the company an F.