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A test tube containing a patient sample awaiting testing for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. (Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Colorado officials ordered 11 coronavirus testing sites to shut down Saturday, saying the two companies running them have failed to report testing results as required under the law. 

The testing sites run by Center for COVID Control and Macagain Corp. stretch from Boulder to Colorado Springs. 

Center for COVID Control, with sites in Denver and Englewood, is not properly certified by the federal government to perform coronavirus testing, according to Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, who ordered the shutdown in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 

Macagain Corp., with eight locations along the Front Range, also was ordered to halt operations. 

The attorney general’s cease-and-desist orders come as the Center for COVID Control is under national scrutiny. The nationwide company is under investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice, and a handful of other states have ordered temporary closures of the company’s testing sites, according to USA TODAY.

Colorado officials said a “well-documented investigation” by the state health department discovered that the Center for COVID Control did not obtain all necessary licensing to test for the virus in the state. The company also has been the subject of a “significant number” of safety-related complaints, including about “appropriate use” of masks and other personal protective equipment. 

“By violating these licensing requirements and ignoring health and safety protocols, the Center for COVID Control is putting Coloradans at risk and we’re taking action to protect public health,” Weiser said in a news release. 

Testing sites are required to receive certification from the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments program, which the Center for COVID Control did not do, according to the attorney general. 

The company received two cease-and-desist letters from the attorney general – one for allegedly violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and the other for violating state public health orders that require testing companies to report all test results and cases of disease to the state health department. 

The closure will last until the company receives all necessary certifications and follows legal requirements. Further legal action is possible if the companies do not comply, Weiser said.

“The public needs to be able to have confidence and trust in testing sites,” he said. 

The closures come as Colorado is in the midst of a wave of cases caused by a new variant, omicron, and as 1,663 people are hospitalized with the virus.

State health officials reminded the public that there are more than 150 state-run community testing open in the state. 

These locations were issued a cease-and-desist order:

●       Center for COVID Control, 6460 E Yale Ave., Denver 80222

●       Center for COVID Control, 4775 S Broadway, Englewood 80113

●       Center for COVID Control, 1750 Blake St., Denver 80202

●       Macagain Corp., 1546 28th St., Boulder 80303

●       Macagain Corp., 3250 W 72nd St., Westminster 80030

●       Macagain Corp., 155 Cook St., Denver 80206

●       Macagain Corp., 620 Miller Court, Lakewood 80215

●       Macagain Corp., 1700 S College Ave. Fort Collins 80525

●       Macagain Corp., 6830 S Yosemite Court, Centennial 80112

●       Macagain Corp., 3629 Betty Dr., Colorado Springs 80917

●       Macagain Corp., 2910 Wood Ave., Colorado Springs 80907

Jennifer Brown

Jen is a co-founder and reporter at The Sun, where she writes about mental health, child welfare and social justice issues. Her first journalism job was at The Hungry Horse News in her home state of...