CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the nation’s largest COVID-19 testing companies, with nearly 50 locations in the Chicago area, announced it’s closing down all its sites for a week.
The Center for COVID Control said it’s retraining management and staff after a flood of complaints. CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has been digging into those complaints and spoke with an employee who said he’s been speaking out for months about unsafe working conditions.
He’s got the texts and videos to prove it. He worked at the Center for COVID Control testing site in Hyde Park. He said the company’s plan to temporarily shut down operations is the safest thing they can do.
“This is your business and you’re dealing with people’s health and welfare.”
Bravette Fleet started working at the Center for COVID Control COVID19 testing site located in a Hyde Park condo building in early November. That’s when he took videos of the place.
“I don’t know if you see how dirty this floor is. There’s no mop,” Fleet said. “This is where all of the biohazard waste is going into this trash can. It doesn’t make sense to have a trash can with no lid on it.”
Bravette said his manager recently took him off the schedule. He said it’s because he raised so many concerns about working conditions.
“I sent him the video to show him like, ‘sir, this place is nasty we don’t have a mop. The stuff is out. We’ve got swabs falling out of the trash can,’” Bravette said.
Fleet showed CBS 2 texts back and forth with his CCC manager where he repeatedly asked for PPE, correct disposal of testing materials, Wi-Fi for accurate record keeping and enough staff to keep up with the growing numbers of patients coming in. One day, he handled 146 patients by himself.
“If somebody doesn’t want to manage a business like that properly, they shouldn’t be managing any businesses,” Bravette said.
On Thursday, current employees sent the CBS 2 Investigators the message announcing that all locations nationwide will be closed on Friday to “retrain our management and staff, while rolling out new procedures.”
“I try to maintain it as much as possible, but this floor is nasty,” Bravette said.
A spokesperson for the company didn’t directly address Fleet’s concerns or why he’s not being scheduled, but sent CBS 2 a statement saying CCC will train more staff, “refocus on customer service and communication practices, and ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines.”
“Maybe now the Center for COVID Control will take better steps and measures to make sure the people that are working for them have the things they need and they’re not being put in danger and the people that they’re helping are not being put in danger.”
The company’s Rolling Meadows testing site was given an F rating from the Better Business Bureau and the Illinois Attorney General’s office is investigating.