Pop-Up Testing Site in Rice Square Issued Cease and Desist

 by Tom MarinoJanuary 13, 2022

WORCESTER - A constable delivered a Cease and Desist Order issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health [DPH], to the Center for COVID Control operating a pop-up COVID testing site at 1 Rice Square in Worcester.

The order requires the Center for COVID Control to immediately cease providing all services that require clinical laboratory licensure by DPH.

The Rice Square location, next to 462 Grafton Street, was providing rapid COVID-19 antigen and PCR testing. The Center for COVID Control advertises free, walk-up testing with no insurance needed, but asked for an ID and insurance card if one was possible.

Reports on social media and in the media multiple complaints, such as not receiving test results, receiving test results while still waiting in line, and some receiving incorrect results.

The City of Worcester recently learned of the site and determined it did not have the required state permit. The laboratory associated with the operation, based in Chicago, is not registered in Massachusetts.

The Worcester Division of Inspectional Services visited the site this week and Division of Public Health contacted DPH in response to complaints from residents. The City received notification on Tuesday, January 12, that DPY would issued a Cease & Decease Order to Rice Square location and locations in Needham and North Dartmouth.

Long lines for testing and the limited supply of rapid home tests have led to several pop-up sites like these across the country. The City of Worcester encourages residents to visit the testing site at the Mercantile Center, a local pharmacy offering testing, or another known testing site should a test be necessary.

Photo Credit: "Rapid antigen self test kit " by Jernej Furman is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

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