By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Southwest Miami-Dade woman is trying to raise awareness about delays in getting COVID test results from pop-up sites and she says she was tested 17 days ago and has still not heard what the results were.

AnaBelle Ramos told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench she took a free COVID test at a site at S.W. 70TH Ave. and Coral Way on December 28th and she has still not heard the results.

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Ramos said, “It has been 17 days and I still have not heard. I feel like first of all this is a disservice to the public because you are getting tested so you are safe in the community so I feel like I wasted my time. I feel like I should have gone back to a Miami-Dade test site and just waited online and I would have gotten my test result such sooner.”

She said, “I would stick to a Miami-dade testing site but if you are in a pinch and you need to get tested at one of these pop-up sites, I would ask for certification because they have that. I would ask for a number to follow up and before I got tested and before I gave them my information I would call that number and make sure it is a legitimate number.”

CBS4 followed Ramos as she tried to get some answers. She was told that Elite Labs did the testing in December and a new company had taken over. CBS4 called that company’s number but it had been disconnected.

A manager for the current company said the previous company was to blame.

Ramos said, “I was also told there was a pile-up of tests in December.”

Ramos also said she had tested elsewhere and was negative.

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She is also working with an investigator for the state.

A spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county had received complaints about this problem and was looking into it.

Ramos said, “Who knows if they are even running the tests and frankly after 17 days, even 3 days, are the results even relevant?”

Health experts say many sites are not licensed with non-FDA-approved test kits from places like Mexico or China and some kits have expired. Officials at the Health Departments in Miami-Dade and Broward have told CBS4 that they are too overwhelmed to conduct proper oversight and they advise using county websites to find properly vetted testing locations.

Dr. Kunjana Mavunda, a former Miami-Dade Health Department Medical Director, said “The site should be a medical facility whether it is run by the county or by an urgent care center or a hospital or by a reliable lab like Quest of Labcorps, sites you want to go to.”

The state urges people to be on lookout for fraudulent COVID-19 practices or products. If you think there is fraudulent activity, report it to MyFloridalegal.com or 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226).

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If you have a complaint about a laboratory, contact the Agency for Health Care Administration through CAU@AHCA.MyFlorida.com.

Peter D'Oench