NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - Federal authorities filed a restraining order against a New Braunfels holistic healing center for conducting fake Covid-19 testing.
The FBI announced a district court judge in San Antonio granted the order against Living Health New Braunfels and its owner Leslie Tatum. The center, tucked away on North Walnut Avenue, boasts alternative treatments for a variety of health concerns.
However, the FBI said claims made by Living Health New Braunfels that their staff are qualified to administer and interpret COVID-19 tests are false.
According to investigators, Living Health advertised $85 COVID-19 antibody testing on social media and through email. The complaint filed in district court said the test used "is not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration" and the owner of the center, a licensed massage therapist, "is not qualified to perform nor evaluate the test results."
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Staff at the holistic healing center said they were working with an attorney and could not comment on the case at this time.
Comal County spokesperson Paul Anthony, who is not involved with the case, encourages people in New Braunfels to check with the health department if they need help finding an official testing location.
"I would say just make sure that the person you’re getting a test from is a licensed medical practitioner, they have their MD, they have a license from state medical boards, and, that way if they’re not doing something they shouldn’t be doing, then there’s obviously some consequences for that," said Anthony.
This comes at a time when Comal County's positivity rate has started to drop. The county is reporting the lowest number of active cases since June 30.
"Right now it feels like we’re kind of at the flat part of the curve and we’re hoping that the curve starts heading downward. So, we’re obviously hoping that everybody and encouraging everybody to continue to take the steps they have been taking to keep the cases from increasing as rapidly as they had been," Anthony said.
Those who were tested at Living Health are being asked to get re-tested to make sure they don't unknowingly spread the virus.
Comal County Public Health holds a drive-thru testing center Tuesdays and Fridays. The majority of hospitals, urgent care centers, and doctors' offices also have testing available.
The FBI is asking individuals who were tested for COVID-19 at Living Health New Braunfels to contact them at 210-225- 6741, prompt #1, or online.
A hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for August 25.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.