IDPH investigating 2 more COVID-19 testing companies

Northshore Clinical Laboratories and O’Hare Clinical Labs are being investigated amid complaints about long waits for test results among other problems.

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An O’Hare Clinical Lab Services testing site located at 1425 S. Ashland Ave. in the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood.

An O’Hare Clinical Lab Services testing site located at 1425 S. Ashland Ave. in the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Two Chicago-based COVID-19 testing companies are under investigation amid a flurry of complaints from customers in several states.

The Illinois Department of Public Health launched an investigation into Northshore Clinical Labs and O’Hare Clinical Labs after both businesses have been accused of bungling people’s test results, among other issues.

IDPH spokesperson Melaney Arnold confirmed Wednesday evening the investigations into the two companies are ongoing but didn’t provide any additional details.

The Illinois attorney general’s office said it has received more than 40 complaints about Northshore and over 30 complaints about O’Hare. Most of the concerns center on people receiving delayed test results or none at all as well as staff not practicing proper social distancing or correctly wearing masks.

One person told the Sun-Times that they waited four weeks to receive their COVID-19 test results from a facility operated by Northshore Clinical Labs only to find out that the samples were unstable and couldn’t be tested. The person said their friends are still awaiting results from tests performed toward the end of last month.

Nevada officials are also investigating Northshore after receiving similar complaints from people. Kentucky officials said they too have received at least a dozen complaints regarding O’Hare Clinical Labs.

Northshore said in an email statement Wednesday night the surge of the Omicron variant and rising demand for tests increased “the usual volume of test samples at our lab.” The spike “far exceeded our ability to process within our usual turnaround time of 24-72 hours.”

The company said it is “fully cooperating” with agencies looking into patient complaints.

Representatives from O’Hare Clinical Labs couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

Northshore’s website said it’s “terminated all third-party operations of testing pop-up sites” as it focuses on refining its processing and PCR result times.

“Northshore Clinical Labs continues to support schools, nursing homes and other senior living providers, and operate its own clinics to help our community through these unprecedented times,” the lab’s website said.

O’Hare Clinical Labs has dozens of Chicago locations as well as testing sites in 11 other states, including Florida, Kentucky and Michigan, according to its website. 

Northshore’s website said it has clinics in Chicago and Glenview and Arizona. 

Last weekend, the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the headquarters of Center for COVID Control, a Rolling Meadows-based company under investigation in multiple states amid complaints about long waits for test results, among other problems, according to a USA Today report.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office, which recently opened an investigation into Center for COVID Control, encouraged people Friday to utilize state-sponsored COVID-19 testing sites, nothing that pop-up testing locations are not regulated by a government agency.

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