ST. LOUIS — A number of popular COVID-19 testing sites in St. Louis are now closed after concerns about the legitimacy of the lab processing the tests.
The shuttered sites include the Ballpark Village, Eureka, Chesterfield, Florissant, and the Central West End locations.
Like hundreds of other St. Louisans, when Denis Volobuev needed a COVID test, he went to Ballpark Village.
“Everything seemed normal,” said Denis Volobuev. “They had full medical clothing on. It seemed pretty normal.”
Twenty minutes after taking his test he got a negative result.
After hearing the lab behind the site, Center for COVID Control had received an F-rating from the Better Business Bureau, he started to get concerned.
“I feel like that’s a question that everyone that went to these sites is probably asking themselves,” said Volbuev.
“I was just as shocked as everybody else,” said Alan.
24 hours later the site administrator, who goes by Alan, closed all of his pop-up sites in the St. Louis area as he distances himself from the Center for COVID Control.
“I’m very frustrated,” said Alan. “I’m very frustrated with the lab. I’m kind of frustrated with myself for even dealing with them although as of two days ago they had no bad news, no bad press, no bad information out there.”
Alan started using the company as a third-party vendor after taking a test at one of their locations in Chicago.
“They provided me the documents I asked them too,” said Alan. “They showed me the clean number. I looked it up on CDC, and they were looking for Doctor’s Clinical Lab. Nothing I could find was anything wrong.”
Despite firing the company, Alan still stands by their results.
“I don’t think they were doing it purposely or maliciously,” said Alan.
He admits there are red flags, such as HIPAA being misspelled on their website.
“Now when I look at the Center for COVID Control it is a pretty new lab that focuses basically on COVID testing,” said Alan. “That does raise a red flag now, but hindsight is 20/20.”
Alan is now calling for safeguards to prevent this from happening again.
“There probably needs to be some kind of oversight in the city or state that says who can operate a testing site,” said Alan.
However, those who got tested at the pop-up sites are questioning whether their results are legitimate.
“I am planning on going to get tested again because I want it for peace of mind,” said Volobuev.
Alan told me he is planning on reopening his pop-up sites next week through a new vendor.
The Center for COVID Control has yet to respond to my requests for comment.