MANHATTAN – Just days after Council Member Julie Menin blew the whistle on a cluster of Upper East Side Covid testing pop-ups accused of misleading patients with claims of short turnaround times, New York State Attorney General Letitia James has stepped in to warn PacGenomics and demand answers from the California-based company.
“Accurately advertising COVID-19 turnaround test times is not optional,” said Attorney General James.
“COVID-19 testing sites that fail to do so can expect to hear from my office.”
EARLIER COVERAGE | UES COVID Test Pop-ups Under Scrutiny after Late & Missing Results
Attorney General James’ warning letter calls on PacGenomics to stop promising fast turnaround times for Covid tests on their website and in-person, if they cannot deliver them, and demands answers as to why tests taken by a patient was reported to have an incorrect date.
“New Yorkers are depending on accurate and timely COVID test results to make decisions and they shouldn’t have to wait longer than they were told to know if they can return to work, travel, or gather with loved ones,” the New York Attorney General added.
Last week, City Council Member Julie Menin, who represents the Upper East Side, sent a letter of her own to the Covid testing site operator, PacGenomics, letting them know she’s been flooded with complaints about their testing sites— including those located at East 68th Street and Third Avenue and First Avenue at East 70th Street.
Neighbors say they either never received their test results or results came back more than a week later, despite promises of ‘rush’ service. In one case, an Upper East Side woman’s test taken at a PacGenomics popup on New Years Eve still had not come back.
“One to two days,” the clerk manning the PacGenomics Covid-19 testing site, located on First Avenue near East 70th Street, told Upper East Site last Tuesday when asked how long it would take for PCR results. Workers at a second PacGenomics testing popup at East 68th Street and Third Avenue told us “three to four days” for PCR test results.
“After receiving numerous complaints from my constituents about false and misleading claims made by PacGenomics, we referred this company to New York Attorney General Letitia James and are pleased that she is taking action,” said Menin.
“I am urging the city to license these businesses, as they are falling into a regulatory abyss,” the Council Member added.
“We need accountability now from suspicious COVID-19 testing locations to keep vulnerable New Yorkers healthy and ensure their private information is secure.”
Upper East Site reached out to PacGenomics, based outside of Los Angeles, for comment on this story but have not heard back.
Anyone who believes a lab or other testing site is making misleading statements about their turnaround time for COVID-19 test results is asked to file a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office by clicking here, or calling 1-800-771-7755.