Unauthorized COVID test site in San Francisco has murky ties

There are new details on a story KTVU brought to you Monday about a company performing COVID testing without the proper certification on site. The San Francisco city attorney is now stepping in, demanding the people providing tests prove they have the proper licensing to operate legally.

The testing facility KTVU had seen at the intersection of 18th and Dolores streets last week and yesterday was not there Tuesday afternoon.

Last week and recently as Monday a man representing "Community Wellness America" set up a COVID-19 testing tent at the intersection of 18th and Dolores Streets, performing dozens if not hundreds of COVID tests per day. 

On Monday, KTVU stopped by and asked to see the licensing any test facility is required to have on hand called Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. The licensing provided at the site was for a company called Crestview Clinical Laboratories and had expired in November 2021. 

"That one's out of date," said the man administering the tests. "I think that one's ok. I'll point that out because we found that out today, and we'll get new ones I think tomorrow."

SEE ALSO: San Francisco health department warns of 'unauthorized' COVID test sites throughout city

Now, San Francisco's City Attorney is demanding Community Wellness America produce the appropriate paperwork to operate legally. 

"We've sent a letter to Community Wellness asking for documentation to show that they are indeed a legitimate, licensed lawful testing facility," said City Attorney David Chiu. "We have not yet received information back from them. We have investigators who are looking into this, and at this point I'd say, stay tuned."

KTVU reached out to Crestview Clinical Laboratories, the name on the expired license, and in a twist, a company representative said they aren't operating any COVID testing sites in San Francisco. 

In an email, Justin Nguyen from Crestview said "If those people who operate those test sites use Crestview Name or any other credentials, they must have obtained it illegally without our knowledge. They must have used our License without our approval, and we will never let anyone use our License."

"We understand that they are in a number of instances providing licenses, purportedly from Crestview," said City Attorney Chiu. "Crestview, I know, has told the press that they have not had a relationship with Community Wellness. So we are investigating this as we speak."

The man operating the site Monday told us to reach out to his company supervisor, a woman named Jennifer. When KTVU called Monday she hung up as soon as the reporter identified himself. 

But Monday evening, she texted a copy of an apparently valid California certification, again for Crestview Clinical Laboratories and Tuesday left a voicemail. "How does it feel that you just denied your whole community thousands and thousands of tests? You will be you will have to retract your whole story that you did."

At this time the city attorney says the operators of the site still have not provided any proof they have the appropriate licensing to perform medical tests. 

"It would be utterly unacceptable if there were rogue actors who were trying to exploit the situation, setting up unlicensed testing facilities to make a quick buck," said Chiu.

KTVU reached out to the CEO of Community Wellness America based out of San Diego, so far we have not heard back.

As for where this goes now, the City Attorney's Office says this is all still under investigation.

The city attorney says the overwhelming majority of testing is above board, and patients can always ask for current licensing at a testing site and that information should be provided.