New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a warning letter this week to a COVID-19 testing lab, PacGenomics, for failing to meet promised turnaround times for COVID-19 test results. Several consumers waited more than 10 days to receive their results, even though some consumers had been promised turnaround times of as little as 24 hours.
Some others received their results with the incorrect test date. Attorney General James’ letter notifies PacGenomics that New York law prohibits false advertising and instructs the company to immediately update its website and any signage at test sites to accurately reflect how long individuals can expect to wait before receiving COVID-19 test results.
“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,” said Attorney General James. “We are entering year three of the pandemic and COVID-19 testing sites should not be misleading consumers. Accurately advertising COVID-19 turnaround test times is not optional and COVID-19 testing sites that fail to do so can expect to hear from my office.”
“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 New York City Council Member Julie Menin. “As the former Commissioner of Consumer Affairs for the city of New York, I take false and misleading claims extremely seriously and have sent a cease and desist letter to PacGenomics. I am urging the city to license these businesses, as they are falling into a regulatory abyss. We need accountability now from suspicious COVID-19 testing locations to keep vulnerable New Yorkers healthy and ensure their private information is secure.”
In addition to warning PacGenomics to update its website and signage and to instruct its employees to provide accurate information concerning turnaround times, the letter requests that the company contact the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to explain why consumers are receiving results that include inaccurate test dates of when they took their test, raising concerns about whether proper protocols are in place to ensure that test results are accurate.
Today’s letter follows several other letters Attorney General James sent to labs and testing companies, including ClearMD Health, LabQ, Labworq, Sameday Health, EZ Test NY, and Keep Health Safe, demanding that the companies take similar steps to update their websites and their signage, and to inform consumers about realistic wait times for COVID-19 test results.
Attorney General James asks any consumer who believes a lab or other testing facility is making misleading statements about their turnaround time for COVID-19 test results to file a complaint online with the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau or call the office at 1-800-771-7755.