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Massachusetts closes 3 unlicensed COVID-19 testing sites

Massachusetts public health officials have ordered three COVID-19 testing sites in the state to close because they did not have a license to operate in the state and people tested at the sites have complained about slow test turnaround times.

The state Department of Public Health on Thursday issued cease-and-desist orders to testing sites in Worcester, Needham and Dartmouth, all operated by the Center for COVID Control.

The sites did not get licenses to operate a clinical laboratory in Massachusetts, state health officials said.

An email seeking comment was left with the Illinois-based company.

In a statement on its website, the Center for COVID Control said it is temporarily closing some locations until Jan. 22 to retrain staff, and blamed slow test turnaround times on high demand.

“Certain Center for Covid Control locations are experiencing high demand for testing due to the omicron variant surge," the company said. “This unusually high patient demand has stressed staffing resources, as has been widely reported, in a subset of our locations, affecting our usual customer service standards and diagnostic goals."

CEO Aleya Siyaj said “we truly apologize and are committed to resolve these recent customer inconveniences and loss of confidence."

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