AG's Office Fields Complaints Over Needham COVID Testing Site Not Providing Results

The office of Attorney General Maura Healey is reviewing all three Massachusetts locations of the Center for COVID Control, which is accused of giving people late results for COVID-19 tests or not providing them at all

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A COVID-19 testing site in Needham, Massachusetts, is coming under fire after complaints that test results came back late or did not come back at all.

The situation has frustrated enough people for the town to issue a formal complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

The Center for COVID Control, located on 1502 Highland Ave. in Needham, advertises free testing with no appointment or insurance needed. It's one of the reasons there are often long lines of people wanting for a rapid or PCR test.

"I have to get it for school because I tested positive like a week ago," said 17-year-old Needham resident Kayla Kurgan.

People like Kurgan have been showing up to the testing site for a free rapid and PCR COVID-19 test since it opened more than a month ago.

Needham resident Masha Sherman was lured by the offer and decided to get one of each.

"When I finally walked in, I got my quick results very fast, it took them a few minutes," she said. "But I never received my PCR results."

That was in early December, she said.

Sherman and dozens of other people took to the community page on Facebook to express their anger and concerns.

"I just told people, 'Hey, I went there and never got my results. So just be aware that if you need it for travel and you rely on getting results on time, beware that you may not get your results on time,'" said Sherman.

Wellesley resident Betsy Marks remembers going to the Needham site on Dec. 17.

"A gentleman handed me the swabs and I did them myself," Marks noted.

In Marks' case, she also took both tests, but never got results for either of them.

"It prevented me from going someplace else to get tested right away," said Marks. "Luckily, I was negative and didn't have COVID, but if I had been positive, I wouldn't have known and I would've exposed people that weekend because I didn't get either result back."

Marks said she called the company to get answers, claiming it took her three hours waiting on the line until a representative picked up. She said the representative refused to give her results over the phone, and later hung up on her after she asked to speak to a manager.

Marks then filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Better Business Bureau and the office of Attorney General Maura Healey.

The town of Needham received a handful of similar complaints before sending a letter to Healey's office requesting their intervention. Healey's office told NBC10 Boston they are currently reviewing the case at all three Center for COVID Control locations in the state: Needham, Dartmouth and Worcester.

"It doesn't seem fair in this climate during this pandemic to sort of lure people in, to think they're going to get results, and then they never do," added Marks.

The Center for COVID Control has been in hot water in other states, including Illinois, where the company has its headquarters. The Illinois BBB has given the company an "F" rating, with customers on the BBB website complaining about similar issues.

Many other people have expressed on the Needham community Facebook page having received their results without issue.

After getting a rapid test done on Wednesday, Kelly Horn hoped she was in that pool of people.

"Time will tell if I get the results back or not," she said.

On Wednesday, the Center for COVID Control in Needham had signs up on their window announcing it wasn't offering PCR tests.

NBC10 Boston reached out to the company for a response to the allegations and to hear their side of the story, but the company has yet to reply.

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