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Washington attorney general sues Center for COVID Control over 'sham testing centers'

Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Center for COVID Control for "invalid, false and delayed" test results in Washington state.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit Monday against Center for COVID Control, arguing the Illinois-based company provided false or delayed COVID-19 test results.

In some cases, according to Ferguson's office, the company provided no results at all to Washingtonians. 

“Center for COVID Control contributed to the spread of COVID-19 when it provided false negative results,” Ferguson said. “These sham testing centers threatened the health and safety of our communities. They must be held accountable.”

The company operated about 300 testing sites nationwide, with at least 13 in Washington located in King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Yakima counties. 

RELATED: Investigation launched into company operating COVID-19 testing in Washington

The company provided COVID-19 tests to thousands of Washingtonians, according to Ferguson's office.

The company did not have a license to operate anywhere except Yakima, according to Ferguson's office.

Center for COVID Control, according to Ferguson, advertised the company could provide test results within 15 minutes for rapid antigen tests and 48 hours for PCR tests. The company could not process tests at that speed and, according to Ferguson's office, employees were instructed to "lie to patients on a daily basis" when people complained about delayed results.

The company received up to 10,000 tests per day.

Tests were being stored in garbage bags "with no semblance of organization," according to Ferguson's office. Some tests were sitting in bags for more than a week without proper refrigeration, employees reported.

According to Ferguson, the company's director of operations told employees to falsely post-date samples to make them look more recent and submit them for testing anyway.

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