New York

New Yorkers See Big Payday After Delays on ‘Expedited' COVID Tests in Winter Wave

People in the city paid extra for timely test results -- many of which didn't come back until after the promised 24-hour window, according to the attorney general's office

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Another COVID testing company in New York City has been ordered to refund customers for failing to meet the quick turnaround time they charged consumers for during the initial omicron wave last winter.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a whopping third payday for people who paid for expedited COVID testing -- specifically a 24-hour turnaround -- and weren't provided results within that window.

James' office said Clear 19 is the third testing company to charge consumers for speedy results and fail to meet their advertised timeline. Fines incurred for late test results totaled more than $122,000, split among 692 people.

"We are still in the midst of this pandemic, and testing sites that advertise fast results are still required to deliver on those promises," James said this week.

In this week's episode of The Debrief, NBC New York's Adam Kuperstein sat down with two researchers and a nurse who want to understand why some people haven't been infected with the novel coronavirus yet after more than two years into the pandemic. Can they be immune?

The attorney general said the testing group has also been ordered to advertise more appropriate turnaround times that are promised to paying New Yorkers.

Since her office began investigating consumer complaints back in Dec. 2021, James said the state has recovered more than $530,000 from three companies charging for "untimely" test results.

ClearMD Health and SameDay Health have also issued refunds to thousands of people -- $182,000 and $230,000, respectively.

The winter omicron wave hit the city hard in December. Lines outside of testing centers stretched to their longest distances in months amid a mad dash on results before travelers took off for the holidays. Many reported waiting in lines for hours during freezing temperatures.

"New Yorkers depend on accurate and timely results to stay safe, and my office will continue to ensure that testing sites meet those standards and no one is cheated," James added.

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