A COVID-19 testing site, open only since last month, has been closed by the City of Evanston for failing to get permission to do business.

The Xpress Covid Testing Center on Maple Avenue downtown has a “closed” sign on the door, and the company’s website says the location is “Temporarily Closed Until Further Notice.”

Ike Ogbo, the city’s director of Health and Human Services (HHS), tells Evanston Now that “It is standard procedure for COVID-19 testing sites to receive approval from the Evanston Zoning Division and HHS prior to operating.”

This location, Ogbo says, “did not receive approval from HHS” before opening.

Ogbo adds that “a notice was prepared to enlighten the owners of the site that approval is needed prior to operating,” however, Ogbo says the city has checked “numerous times” since the notice was prepared and the report he has received is that the clinic is closed.

Late last month, when Evanston Now reported on the high demand for COVID-19 tests, there was a line in front of the Maple Avenue clinic of people waiting to get either rapid or PCR tests.

There are two phone numbers on signs at the facility.  Evanston Now called both.  In one, the voice mailbox was full, and in the other, it had not been set up.

We have also sent an email to the company, which has other operating sites in the Chicago area.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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