Natomas COVID-19 Test Site Disappears

Dozens of people line up on Jan. 3, 2022 waiting for the Center for Covid Control test site in Natomas to open. A month later it was gone. / Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Updated 9 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2022

A pop-up COVID-19 test site which operated for several weeks in Natomas is among hundreds now under scrutiny by government officials nationwide.

In a letter sent Feb. 10 to the Center for Covid Control, Attorney General Rob Bonta demands data backing up advertising claims made by the Illinois-based company on the internet and at its pop-up sites in California.

Just a month ago, dozens of people lined up daily at the makeshift testing site set up in a mobile modular building in the San Juan Village shopping center parking lot, located on the corner Truxel and San Juan roads.

But operations at all Center for Covid Control sites — including the one in Natomas — were “paused” following media reports of complaints about invalid, false and delayed test results, or people who received no results at all.

The demand for COVID-19 testing peaked following the holiday season. For example, a supply of test kits distributed for free at the South Natomas Library and North Natomas Library ran out within hours.

One south Natomas resident said she found out about the Center for Covid Control testing location on Google maps advertised as a CDC testing site.

“Our family received the tests from this rapid testing location,” she told The Natomas Buzz. “We followed the steps to sign up on the web link provided, gave our name, address, gender, ethnicity, copy of license ID card, insurance provider card and phone numbers.”

“My husband and son received their test confirmation immediately after signing up. Within hours of giving our swabs to workers. They received their results,” she said. “My daughter and I didn’t.”

The paperwork one south Natomas resident said she was given at the Center for Covid Control test site in Natomas. / Photo

On Jan. 2 the California Department of Public Health confirmed with The Natomas Buzz it received complaints about the testing site and was investigating.

“The California Department of Public Health is aware of consumer complaints regarding pop-up testing sites throughout California,” read a statement sent to The Natomas Buzz. “These sites that are allegedly collecting samples for testing have generated questions and concerns about business practices related to pricing, the validity of tests and sample handling, and a failure to report test results.”

California Department of Public Health officials said clinical laboratory tests must meet the requirements of federal regulations as well as California laboratory law. It was unclear, they said, whether many of the sites raising suspicions were sending samples to a licensed lab.

Neither the “Center for Covid Control” nor “United Diagnostic Labs,” the lab reportedly processing samples collected at the site in Natomas, held the clinical lab licensing required to test human specimens for health assessment, California Department of Public Health officials later confirmed with The Natomas Buzz.

Signage at the Natomas site was removed from the modular building and that building moved from the parking lot a few days later. / Photo

Another south Natomas resident said they saw signs for a free Covid-19 test in the shopping center.

“I went during their supposed open hours the next week and there was a hand-written sign that said it was closed, plus instructions for those who had not gotten their results,” they told The Natomas Buzz. “I felt uncomfortable, and decided to look them up. They were not listed on any of the local resources pages, including the County of Sacramento.”

In early January, workers at the Natomas testing site were observed handing out dozens of plastic bags containing a tube with a swab and instructions attached on a white card.

People were also observed in the parking lot filling out the cards, uploading photos of their identification to a website URL specified on the card, and then swabbing their nostrils. Workers at the testing site directed individuals to put the card and plastic bag with the used swab in the tube into a cardboard box on a folding chair in front of the testing site’s open door.

Workers at the testing site in Natomas declined to be interviewed by The Natomas Buzz. Email messages sent to the company were not returned and attempts to call the corporate office yielded automated messages of wait times in excess of three hours.

Baggies with used COVID-19 test swabs were collected in a cardboard box on a folding chair on Jan. 3, 2022 at the testing site in Natomas. / Photo

On Jan. 20, Center for Covid Control announced it was extending its pause on operations indefinitely. Shortly following that announcement, signage at the Natomas site was removed from the modular building and a few days later the building had been removed from entirely from the parking lot.

Bonta’s letter is the latest in a series of high profile actions calling into question the Center for Covid Control’s operations. The Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against the company, it is being investigated by the Colorado Attorney General and its headquarters were raided by the FBI, according to media reports.

California Department of Public Health officials told The Natomas Buzz the state’s Laboratory Field Services division does not publicly post information and findings of its investigations, adding information could be obtained through the Public Records Act process.

A Public Records Act request made by The Natomas Buzz, however, yielded no records related to complaints, an investigation or any violations at the testing site in Natomas. At press time, a request for comment was not returned.

The state provides a website to help Californians find testing sites in local communities at There are no out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing at a valid testing site operated by the state or your local public health department. An insured person can get a COVID-19 test at these sites at no cost. If you’re uninsured, the government pays for your test.

Dozens of people line up on Jan. 7, 2022 in the rain at the Center for Covid Control test site in Natomas. / Photo

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