Federal judge stops New Braunfels facility from administering unauthorized COVID-19 tests


FILE – In this July 23, 2020 file photo, health care workers prepare a COVID-19 test sample before a person self-administered a test at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Miami-Dade County Auditorium in Miami. Racial disparities in the the U.S. coronavirus epidemic extend to children, according to two sobering government reports released Friday, Aug. 7. One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports looked at hospitalizations of children with COVID-19. Hispanic children were hospitalized at a rate eight times higher than white kids, and Black children were hospitalized at a rate five times higher, it found.(David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (KXAN) — A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against a New Braunfels healthcare facility, preventing it from giving out any more COVID-19 tests.

This comes after the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked for people who were tested at Living Health Holistic Healthcare to come forward. At the time, the bureau suspected the tests “should not have been used to diagnose or rule out an active COVID-19 infection.”

The United States Attorney’s Office says in a release the order was filed against the facility located on North Walnut Avenue and its owner, Leslie Tatum.

It stops Tatum from advertising, offering and performing COVID-19 tests through her business.

The release says a civil complaint reported that Living Health “misled the public into believing they are qualified to both administer COVID-19 diagnostic and serological tests and interpret the results of such tests.”

The facility allegedly used its website, Facebook page and direct emails to ask customers to purchase the antibody tests for $85. The release also says the same complaint stated the tests were not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Tatum is a licensed massage therapist and is not qualified to administer or evaluate the test results, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for Aug. 25.

If you were tested at Living Health, the FBI asks you to call (210) 225-6741, prompt #1, or report it online. The bureau also encourages you to get another test at their primary care physician, local health department, free-standing emergency room or urgent-care facility.

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