IDPH says it won’t renew COVID testing contract with Reditus
The Illinois Department of Public Health said Wednesday it will not renew its lucrative COVID testing contract with Reditus Labs. The Interstate Center testing site in Bloomington will close March 31.
Reditus Labs CEO Aaron Rossi was indicted last week on federal tax fraud charges. He also faces a civil lawsuit in Tazewell County, where he’s accused by a business partner of financially “pillaging” Reditus to fund his own lavish lifestyle, including a fleet of luxury vehicles and private planes.
Pekin-based Reditus was awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts from the State of Illinois for COVID testing. Reditus still runs the state’s testing site at the Interstate Center, which at one time was one of only a few testing options in McLean County.
The pandemic raised Rossi’s profile almost overnight; he even appeared alongside Gov. JB Pritzker in 2020 to talk about his lab, which played a critical role in the state’s COVID-19 response.
However, that relationship looks to be ending.
A spokesperson for the IDPH told WGLT on Wednesday that the department is “aware of recent legal actions concerning Mr. Rossi.”
“The Department is not aware of any allegations related to the services Reditus Laboratories has provided to IDPH during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mike Claffey, an IDPH spokesperson. “The majority of those services have now concluded and the remaining contract with Reditus is due to expire in the coming months and will not be renewed.”
That contract—for $156 million annually—is set to expire June 30. A Reditus spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about IDPH's move.
However, later Wednesday, Reditus announced that "all the State of Illinois Community-Based COVID-19 Testing Sites, which includes the site in Bloomington, will close permanently effective March 31, 2022."
"Reditus would like to extend its gratitude to IDPH, the State of Illinois and all the citizens it served throughout this pandemic," the company said in a statement.
The Illinois Department of Corrections also has a coronavirus testing contract with Reditus for all prison inmates and staff. IDOC Chief of Staff Camile Lindsay said it is “evaluating the feasibility of pursing alternative options.”
“IDOC is aware of the broader legal action but is not aware of any allegations related to the services Reditus Laboratories has provided to IDOC during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lindsay said in a statement.
According to COVID financial records the Illinois comptroller's office has posted online, Reditus has made about $222 million from the state for COVID testing. That's just through the state of Illinois, and does not include testing done at private businesses or even public schools.
For example, Illinois State University paid Reditus $2.9 million for tests before it switched to SHIELD Illinois, the University of Illinois' COVID saliva test, last year.
The $222 million haul also does not include what Reditus gets from insurance companies, or from testing it does in other states. Reditus said it gets COVID specimens from about 15 states.