County Health Director alerted after reports of CMS bus driver giving students COVID-19 vaccination tests – WSOC TV
County Health Director alerted after reports of CMS bus driver giving students COVID-19 vaccination tests – WSOC TV

County Health Director alerted after reports of CMS bus driver giving students COVID-19 vaccination tests – WSOC TV

CHARLOTTE – Mecklenburg County Health Director said he is concerned about reports that students in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district have their cheeks dried for COVID-19 testing by a school bus driver for money.

Parents have contacted Channel 9 this week after their children said a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school bus driver reportedly paid $ 5 to wash their cheeks while on the bus.


The first concerned parent spoke to Channel 9’s John Paul on Monday about the alleged incident.

The bus driver said it was a COVID-19 test, according to parents. CMS officials said the tests were not approved and the bus driver was suspended.

Since Monday, at least three other families have said their children have also been swaddled.

On Thursday, parents told Paul that CMS police pulled their children out of class to be interviewed.

What is cheek grafting for?

One question that many viewers may have is, “What was the cheek pop for?”

Channel 9’s Joe Bruno spoke with Mecklenburg County Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington to try to find an answer.

“I do not want our residents to be exposed unnecessarily. Everything that is unnecessary, ”Washington said.

Washington said he was concerned about reports of students receiving COVID-19 tests from the school bus driver.


Washington said that these tests are not only unauthorized, but that they are not always effective either.

“That’s not what we’re encouraged to advise or recommend, they’s not providers that we, I think, refer to people who do that kind of test,” Washington said.

While the county has not officially approved any COVID-19 test providers of cheek grafting, Channel 9 has heard several reports from various people saying they were offered one.

Channel 9’s John Paul said he met a man named Bernard along North Tryon Street on Wednesday. Bernard told Paul he was paid $ 5 to get a COVID-19 test of cheek grafting outside the city office.

Bernard also said that a company called the National Institute of Molecular Diagnostics recruited him to host an event where others would receive $ 5 in exchange for a COVID-19 cheek grafting test.

The National Institute of Molecular Diagnostics is based inside a building in Greensboro.

[Mecklenburg County drops mask mandate as COVID-19 trends continue to decrease]

When Channel 9 tried to contact them, a representative on the spot referred us to their lawyer. The lawyer hung up on Wednesday and did not answer the phone on Thursday.

At present, it is unclear whether this company is affiliated with the CMS school bus driver.

But Washington said the whole point of a COVID-19 test is for diagnosis, and incentives, monetary or otherwise, are not necessary.

“I can not tell you why anyone would pay someone to do a COVID-19 test. It is certainly not something we have engaged in as a department and would not encourage, I’m not sure why you would do that, ”Washington said.

Washington mentioned that all COVID-19 tests are refundable. And while this reimbursement depends on the type of test performed, providers can sometimes get more than $ 100 per. test.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services officials said they do not contract with providers that offer cheek testing, and neither does Mecklenburg County.

However, some pharmacies and some healthcare providers may administer the tests.

StarMed’s CEO said many do not wipe their cheeks to test for COVID-19 because it is not as accurate.

What kind of permission does anyone need to provide COVID-19 tests?

One of the big questions Channel 9 is investigating is whether you need to be a doctor or have a license or license to perform COVID-19 tests.

Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke has asked several agencies.

There are two kinds of tests.

The point of care test that someone gets at a doctor’s office is one of them.

The county health department said the only people to administer point-of-care tests should be doctors who can make follow-up appointments or referrals.

The second kind is laboratory testing, which requires certification.

In either case, it seems that the average person can not walk around and test people.

Stoogenke said there is a lot of money to be made by testing people who do not have insurance.

At least two federal laws created due to the pandemic allocated $ 1 billion each to COVID-19 testing of uninsured people.

Stoogenke said the federal government will reimburse the testers for “Medicare” rates, so we’re asking exactly what those rates are, in dollars and cents.

Stoogenke also asked the Attorney General if he has had any complaints about COVID-19 testing schemes.

He said only two, but one was from a Charlotte person.

[ALSO READ: Gov. Cooper encourages NC schools, local governments to end mask mandates]

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has the Acute and Home Care Licensure and Certification Section, which investigates complaints involving physicians.

Channel 9 asked if it was investigating any COVID-19 testers. We are waiting to hear back.

“You dry yourself”

(Watch the video above: Unknown group offers weekly COVID-19 test for homeless people)

Channel 9’s investigation led journalist Erika Jackson to a homeless shelter off North Tryon Street on Thursday night.

Herbert Bines asked no questions when he was offered $ 5 for a COVID-19 test last month.

“You’re stroking yourself,” Bines told Jackson. “So I did not think anything of it.”

Bines and John Borsoff both said they used a weekly COVID-19 test offered by an unidentified group.

“I went down there today to see if they did, and they did not,” Borsoff said.

The two men walked down the road from Men’s Shelter of Charlotte on 10 Ten Tires.

A worker who said he saw the group offer weekly COVID-19 tests on the sidewalk in February.

“They come dressed like all the equipment and everything that they usually do,” Borsoff said. “Like the paper dress and everything.”

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Channel 9 contacted NCDHHS about the test there and is awaiting a response.

Return to this story for updates.

(Watch the video below for previous coverage of these incidents)

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