LADERA RANCH (CBSLA) — The owner of AFC Urgent Care in Ladera Ranch is taking the management of Mercantile East Shopping Center to court after being evicted from the building for offering COVID-19 testing.
“I actually think it’s kinda crazy that we are in the middle of a pandemic and we are being told to stop testing and helping the community at large,” said owner Harris Khan.
Khan said the problems with Westar Management began a few months ago after getting approval to test patients in the parking lot, which created congestion.
The set up was moved indoors and AFC was notified by lawyers that “the lease certainly does not expressly allow COVID testing. It expressly prohibits it to the extent such testing encompasses the handling and storage of hazardous materials.”
“Urgent Care facilities like this one have a complete robust biohazard policy,” said Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner, who is also an attorney. “COVID is no different and in fact the urgency now throughout Orange County is to increase the testing so we know whose got the disease.”
Lawyers for the landlord responded to KCAL9/CBS2 saying in part “while COVID testing is an extremely important service for the community at this time it is simply not right, appropriate or safe at this particular dining and retail center.”
However, doctors at the care center disagree.
“Our nation’s numbers are increasing,” said Dr Miranda De Luna. “Our testing is how we keep our community safe. It’s how we keep our businesses open, our schools open.”