ST. LOUIS — These days, people can get a COVID test in their car, at their home, or at a store. But some testing locations have popped up in unexpected places across St. Louis.
A sign was seen recently at a Maryland Heights Subway, advertising-free testing by a man named Josh.
“I am out here volunteering because I just want to help out,” said Josh Meher.
Meher said he’s what he calls “an independent traveling COVID-tester.” He said he gives PCR tests outside the Subway, where his mother is a manager, and he also tests in other areas.
He said he’s HIPPA certified doesn’t get paid. He said the tests are provided by another company, We the People, By the People LLC, which works with a California-based lab, Crestview. Meher said he sends all the tests to Crestview and people receive results online.
“We are just out here trying to help people by letting them do the test. I am certified and played everything by the books,” Meher said.
Meher also said he has gotten some backlash – especially as a separate testing company. Center for COVID Control, is now being investigated by several states. Multiple CCC sites were previously operated in St. Louis.
“It just gives good people a bad name. There are people trying to help and then you have people out there trying to scam,” Meher said.
The Missouri Health Department does not vet independent sites – neither does the county or city.
“That’s not our role or role is to provide testing and encourage testing,” said Chris Ave with the County Health Department.
Ave explains there are four county-approved testing sites, where the county will both administer and process the tests – without any outside labs. Ave encourages people to do their research and lean on approved or sponsored testing sites.
“Our best advice is to come to us for a test, come to the state for a test, or go to a pharmacy or an urgent care because those are places that testing has been done correctly and accurately and the results are something you can rely on,” Ave said.
Here is a list of state, city, and county resources:
- For a list of county testing sites and book an appointment, click here: https://revivestl.com/get-tested/
- For a list of city-approved sites, click here: https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/covid-19/data/test-locations.cfm
- For a list of Missouri state-sponsored testing sites, click here: https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/community-test.php#testing
- For a list of Illinois state-sponsored testing sites: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/testing-sites.html
- For a list of CLIA-certified laboratories approved by the government, click here: https://www.cdc.gov/clia/LabSearch.html