Anyone recently tested for the coronavirus at a New Jersey lab that was raided by the feds last week should be re-screened, FBI officials said.
The FBI’s Newark office released a statement Friday urging anyone who got screened for the virus at Infinity Diagnostic Laboratory in Ventnor to be “retested as soon as possible” while asking people to contact the agency directly if they were given a finger-prick blood test at the facility.
“Your response is voluntary but would be useful in a federal investigation,” FBI officials said. “Based on the response provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.”
A woman who answered at the phone at the Jersey Shore clinic said no one was immediately available to comment early Monday on the FBI’s statement.
FBI officials did not specify exactly why its recent patients should be retested, but noted that the US Food and Drug Administration website indicates that “rapid” finger-prick blood tests for COVID-19 are antibody screenings that shouldn’t be used to diagnose active cases of the virus.
“Only a test that uses a nasal swab or saliva should be used to diagnose active cases of COVID-19,” FBI officials said.
The public service announcement came one day after the lab was raided Thursday, but FBI officials declined to indicate why, NBC Philadelphia reported.
A sign in a window at the facility Thursday advertised antibody and active-virus screenings, claiming it offered “rapid, 10-minute testing,” but that sign had been removed by Friday, the station reported.
One business owner, Brian Strahl, said he paid for all of his employees to get a finger-prick screening at Infinity, but is now unable to trust the lab’s results.
“I’m wondering if the tests were real or not,” Strahl told NBC Philadelphia, adding that he had his employees retested elsewhere. “I think giving fake, inaccurate tests just makes a bad situation 10 times worse. Because you’re putting people at risk, and you’re also giving people a false sense of security. I think it’s horrible.”
One New York resident who was tested at the lab also had questions after their visit, according to the report.
“I thought it was a little weird they didn’t accept credit cards, that I had to pay cash or Venmo,” Jodie Kirsch told the station.
Anyone who was recently given a finger-prick blood test at Infinity Diagnostic Laboratory should contact the FBI at NK-Victim-Assistance@FBI.gov.
As of Sunday, more than 368,016 COVID-19 cases have been reported in New Jersey, where 15,485 people have died since the start of the pandemic, state data shows.
Credit: NYPOST Newzandar News