‘Center for COVID Control’ shuts down pop-up testing locations to retrain employees

MADISON, Wis. — A company claiming to provide free COVID-19 tests facing a mounting list of complaints says it is shutting down operations for a week to retrain staff.

The Center for COVID Control, a company based in Rolling Meadows, Ill. with some pop-up locations in the Madison area, says it is putting a “temporary pause on the collection of patient specimens” effective Friday and plans to reopen on Saturday, January 22.

The closure comes as the company’s clinics have received a long list of complaints and carries an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois says it is actively looking into the company, and that the company has been unresponsive to the BBB when it comes to the resolution of complaints.

The BBB says multiple people have reported not receiving test results, poor customer service, and requesting personal information like driver’s licenses and insurance information in order to get a test.

In a press release issued Thursday, the Center for COVID Control blamed the poor customer service on high demand for testing due to the surge in the Omicron variant.

“Center for Covid Control is committed to serving our patients in the safest, most accurate and most compliant manner. Regrettably, due to our rapid growth and the unprecedented recent demand for testing, we haven’t been able to meet all our commitments,” founder and CEO Aleya Siyaj said in the statement.

The company says it will provide additional staff training in sample collection and handling while refocusing on customer service and communication and ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines.

The company had several locations pop up across the Madison area in recent months, including one near East Towne Mall and one on Park Street. A current full listing of locations is unavailable after the company appears to have taken down that page on its website, though a check of the company’s website earlier this week showed 27 locations in Wisconsin, including three in Madison and one each in Middleton, Sun Prairie, Verona, Janesville and the Wisconsin Dells.