COVID line

People line up along El Camino Real in Mountain View for COVID testing, advertised by the Center for COVID Control. Questions about the center’s authenticity have begun to surface, with patients claiming a lack of response.

President Joe Biden Jan. 4 advised citizens to “Google ‘COVID test near me’” and “go there” if they need to be tested in the face of the surging omicron variant.

For many who followed those instructions in Mountain View or Los Altos last week, within the first five results was “Free COVID Testing Mountain View,” located at 821 W. El Camino Real. The website and on-site signs direct visitors to the “Center for Covid Control.” Its website cites it as “partnered with CDC approved & licensed laboratory,” but the location appears to have neither a business license nor a clear link to the national organization with which it claims affiliation. As of Jan. 12, the location was still operating.

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