UES Covid Testing Site Troubles Inspire Push for 311 to Track Complaints

PacGenomics Covid-19 testing tent at East 68th Street and Third Avenue/Upper East Site
PacGenomics Covid-19 testing tent at East 68th Street and Third Avenue/Upper East Site

MANHATTAN – Concerns over late and missing Covid-19 test results from pop-up sites across the Upper East Side have inspired a new push to have the City start tracking complaints through the NYC 311 system. 

Council Member Julie Menin introduced her first piece of legislation during Thursday’s City Council meeting, which would require the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, operator of the NYC 311 system, to track Covid-19 testing site complaints on the 311 website and mobile app— so every New Yorker can see what’s happening at each location. 

“No New Yorker should ever worry over promised COVID-19 testing results or if a location was actually a scam,” said Council Member Menin.

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“The City must begin tracking complaints through 311 for COVID-19 testing sites which will ensure that providers are being honest and transparent in their delivery of testing results,” she added.

Right now, Menin’s office says New Yorkers calling 311 to report testing site issues are being directed either to the New York State Department of Health or national credit reporting agencies, but this new legislation would change all that.

PacGenomics testing sites are accused of misleading patients about turnaround time/Upper East Site
PacGenomics Covid-19 testing tent on First Avenue near East 70th Street/Upper East Site

Under the proposed law, the 311 website would be required provide daily updates on the number and nature of complaints received at each site, the agency each complaint was referred to, and what action was taken, if any.

Last month, Council Member Julie Menin, sent a letter to Covid testing site operator, PacGenomics, letting them it she’s been flooded with complaints about their Upper East Side testing sites— including those located at East 68th Street and Third Avenue and First Avenue at East 70th Street. 

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“There are a plethora of pop-up COVID testing sites that falsely advertise ‘next-day results.’ Unfortunately, these false promises leave people waiting on results for weeks, and, in some cases, people never get their results at all,” said Menin. 

“We must instill some accountability in this field, especially given that these businesses handle so much personal information,” she added.

Menin’s bill now heads to the New York City Council’s Committee on Technology for review.

Upper East Site has reached out to DoITT for comment on this article and is waiting to hear back. PacGenomics has not responded to our inquiries.

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