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Linn County stops promoting COVID-19 testing site, company blames confusion

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 6:27 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Linn County Public Health removed a COVID-19 test site from its website featuring testing locations because it has questions about the company’s reliability.

The company, Quick N’ Free, said the concerns from the county health department are the result of confusion over the Illinois-based lab the company uses and another Illinois-based lab under federal investigation. The two labs have similar names.

Quick N’ Free says its testing is legal and legitimate and it plans to call the county to clear up the confusion. Documents from Iowa’s Secretary of State show Quick N’ Free registered as a company in Iowa about three weeks ago. It opened a location in Cedar Rapids about five days later.

Pramod Dwivedi, who is Linn County’s Public Health Director, said he simply doesn’t know enough about this pop-up to recommend it to a friend or family member.

“I don’t know why you would like to use pop-ups when the community, the state and the country [are] awash with free COVID testing,” he said. “Both PCR and antigen.”

Dwivedi said it removed the Quick N’ Free testing option from its’ website when the state health department and a local hospital flagged concerns with its testing. Iowa’s State Public Health Department also doesn’t list the pop-up testing site on its website. Linn County Public Health said it would rather have people use tests from the federal government or the state’s Test Iowa program.

The federal government and multiple state attorney generals have released warnings about pop-up testing locations. Iowa’s Attorney Generals’s Office said it has received no complaints over Quick N’ Free, which has operated for only a few weeks.

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