Unauthorized COVID-19 test sites appear all over San Francisco, health officials warn – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco health authorities are warning residents about unauthorized COVID-19 test sites as demand for testing remains high amid the omicron rise.

“Unauthorized COVID-19 test sites are popping up all over the city,” the city’s Department of Public Health tweeted Friday.

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The warning is an echo of similar complaints brought to the Better Business Bureau, according to Alma Galvan, a spokeswoman for the organization.

“We’ve also heard of consumers who unfortunately go to test sites that have not been verified or confirmed by the California Department of Public Health,” Galvan told the CBSN Bay Area.

BBB said it has also received complaints about fraudulent sites claiming to offer test kits but not actually having the products.

“Since COVID started, we’ve seen these schemes change drastically, it’s always when we’ve seen a huge increase in cases,” Galvan said.

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Further details about the unauthorized San Francisco locations were not immediately available, but similar schemes have been reported in other parts of the country.

Last month, the Maryland Attorney General issued a consumer warning about unlicensed sites in the Baltimore area, saying they take personal information such as social security numbers, driver’s license information, health insurance information along with DNA. The places were located outside shops, malls and along the side of the road.

“Providing personal information, such as CPR numbers, to individuals who host one of these pop-up pages not only endangers your health, but increases your chances of falling victim to identity theft,” the Maryland Attorney said. General Brian Frosh. time.

Unauthorized COVID-19 test sites have also been reported in other cities, including Chicago and St. Louis. Louis. In Illinois, Attorney General Kwame Raoul warned consumers to keep an eye out for certain red flags, including billing sites and employees who are exposed or do not carry appropriate PPE.

The warning comes as the Bay Area and California are experiencing an increase in cases due to the omicron variant. As of Friday, the state’s 7-day test positivity rate was 21.8 percent, according to the California Department of Public Health.

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SFDPH encouraged residents to use FDA-approved rapid test kits, to be tested through their healthcare provider or through other authorized sites. Information on authorized COVID-19 test sites can be found by visiting sf.gov/gettested.

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