Wave of COVID-19 tests sparks concerns over potential illegitimate sites

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – The increase in demand for COVID-19 testing is leading many people to seek out sites with short wait times and reliable results. But some officials warn that some sites may not be legitimate.

The issue was discussed in a Jan. 7 meeting with the Public Safety and Health Committee at Milwaukee City Hall.

“There are random trailers that come across as scams and they are dangerous,” 14th District Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic said at the meeting.

Thirteenth district Ald. Scott Spiker asked leaders of the Milwaukee Health Department if they were able to work with law enforcement or other agencies to track and shut down illegitimate sites.

“We don’t have the capacity to do that at the moment,” said Department of Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson. “And some of them appear overnight and are there for a day or two and are gone.”

Some companies, including some in the Milwaukee area, have drawn criticism across the country for the way their sites are operated, their handling of personal information, and the reliability of test results.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​told CBS 58 that the organization is monitoring the problem across the country and in our region.

“BBB recommends that you search for the name of the test site on our website at BBB.org and read the reviews and complaints before you decide and go to the site for a test, ”said Lisa Schiller, director of investigations and media relations for BBB Wisconsin, in an interview.

The agency added that people who undergo testing should treat a testing site as they would any business, including ensuring that personal information shared is secure.

“Consumers have every right to ask where this information goes, how it is stored, what the protocols are to destroy it and protect it in the process,” said Schiller.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services sent the following statement to CBS 58:

“DHS investigates every request or complaint regarding the testing or billing practices of COVID-19 suppliers that do not comply with current policies. We conduct contacts with suppliers to investigate each situation, as appropriate. This includes training on current policies and regulations, as well as required next steps. by the supplier and / or DHS. “

The Milwaukee Health Department has a list of verified testing sites that can be found HERE.