A bar-restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts has been forced to close its doors again amid the coronavirus pandemic after it was transformed into a testing site.
Peter Stein, owner of Wit’s End at 1248 Cambridge St., wanted to provide antibody testing for people who may have had coronavirus, according to the restaurant's social media pages.
Blood samples were sent to a commercial lab, according to the posts, and people were charged a fee for the service and for the cost of the test itself. But it wasn’t long before the city shut the operation down.
According to a LinkedIn newsletter called "Beyond the Call," Stein partnered with his brother – a Dr. Benjamin Stein of Manhattan, New York - to get the site up and running, bringing back employees that had been laid off.
The Cambridge Health Department received a complaint about the antibody screening site and notified the Board of Registration in Medicine Monday, which was then referred to the Board’s Enforcement unit for investigation.
"After an investigation, City staff determined that the premises were being used for a medical office without a certificate of occupancy for the change of use having been obtained," Cambridge spokeswoman Lee Gianetti said in a statement.
The city ordered that the business remain closed until the owner demonstrates compliance with the local zoning laws and obtains proper certification, licensing and permitting.
Dr. Stein received an Emergency Temporary License, however, which is valid for the duration of Gov. Charlie Baker's state of emergency, according to DPH.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations prohibit a business from promoting as a “clinic” since it is not licensed by the state. Physicians are currently allowed to apply for temporary emergency licenses during the state of emergency if they have held a Massachusetts license in the past with a clean disciplinary record or currently have an active license in another state in good standing.