Horror stories emerge from Lee County COVID testing sites under investigation

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — Horror stories are surfacing about what it was like inside three Lee County COVID-19 testing sites that are now shut down.

The sites operated by The Center For Covid Control in Lee County abruptly closed Thursday after a nationwide investigation into shady practices.

The company operates some 300 sites nationwide and many of them are plagued with complaints of mixed up test results and inexperienced people running many of the sites.

The Center For Covid Control sent an email Thursday that said they would be closed for two weeks because they were overwhelmed with tests.

The Cape Coral site was locked up with the lights out but there was no sign on the door stating they were closed, catching many people off guard as they walked up in hopes of getting tested.

Patients explained they were getting tests that were all over the place.

Angel Lopez said he used the site and his results contained his wife’s name and date of birth and her results contained his.

“It was unorganized,” Lopez described.

Similar complaints have been lodged at every Lee County facility run by the Center For Covid Control.

Megan Morris used the company’s mobile shed site and shortly after being tested received an email saying she was positive.

“Then a day or so later I got random emails at 2 a.m. saying I tested negative,” she said.

However the worst horror stories came from people who used the company’s Bonita Springs office.

Brenda Flores was sick with symptoms when she visited and explained when she finally got inside she wished that she would have turned around and left.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” Flores said.

She described the scene inside as chaotic and said the man running it, Dennis Finnearty, was under a lot of pressure as he was there by himself handling dozens of people lined up for testing.

Even more disturbing, Flores said Finnearty was announcing people’s test results out loud as they waited.

“Everyone who was inside the room could hear your results,” Flores noted.

When NBC-2 tried to question Finnearty on Friday, he opened the back door to the facility and shouted vulgarities.

Paul Montgomery was inside and said it seemed like Finnearty was having a meltdown.

“He just went off blaming everybody in the room for the problems in America,” he said. “He absolutely exploded on the customer inside. Everybody inside had a mask on except for him.”

He said his test result there came back negative but Montgomery didn’t trust the results.

“I don’t have much faith in him,” he said.

That’s why he bought a COVID-19 at-home test and within minutes his result came back as positive.

The company claims it plans to reopen its sites on January 22. The Florida Department of Health said late Friday it has received no complaints about the Center for Covid Control.