State of Washington sues company accused of producing false COVID test results

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The state of Washington is suing a company accused of producing false COVID test results at a variety of sites across the state. 

Center for COVID Control is a company based out of Illinois. Attorney General Bob Ferguson alleges the company provided invalid, false and delayed test results to Washingtonians and in some instances, provided no test results at all. 

The company recently shut down its headquarters amid an investigation by the FBI.

According to Ferguson’s office, the company’s unlawful practices included storing tests in garbage bags for over a week rather than properly refrigerating them and backdating sample collection dates so that stale samples would still be processed. 

Employees reported that the company instructed them to “lie to patients on a daily basis” when Washingtonians complained about their delayed test results, the AG’s office said. 

The lawsuit filed Monday alleges the company violated the Consumer Protection Act when it deliberately failed to deliver prompt, valid and accurate results. Ferguson also believes the company made deceptive promises that it could deliver results within 48 hours. 

The AG’s office is also planning to file a motion for a preliminary injunction soon to immediately stop the Center for COVID Control’s unlawful conduct. 

“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.”

Center for COVID Control operated about 300 testing sites nationwide. The company had 13 testing sites in Washington and was recently planning to open one in Spokane across the street from the Spokane Arena. 

According to Ferguson’s office, the company did not have a license to operate a business in any municipalities in Washington, except for Yakima, at the time they conducted COVID-19 tests. These testing sites paused all operations on or about January 13 and remain closed.