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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

LA County will draw up a plan to stamp out fake COVID-19 testing sites

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors wants to stop fake COVID-19 testing sites from taking personal information from people or charging them for a free service.

Amid a surge in demand for COVID-19 screening, and in response to residents’ growing concerns about suspicious, potentially illegitimate pop-up testing sites, Helen Chavez, a spokeswoman for Katherine Barger, said The Observer has proposed a Introduced Tuesday which was passed on Thursday.

Some Angelenos said they handed over their Social Security numbers, information from their passports, their health care status and other data that went beyond the typical questions asked by legitimate testing facilities.

“As the urgent need for testing reaches a critical point, it is imperative that we ensure residents are confident they can get an accurate and valid test without risking their personal information,” Barger wrote in a statement on Tuesday. Are getting.” “We must do everything we can to crack down on fraudulent COVID-19 tests and sites and prevent identity theft.”

On Thursday, supervisors directed the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, the Department of Health, the Sheriff’s Department and other agencies to look into concerns raised by residents. They have 30 days to submit a report on their findings, which will form the basis of a plan to address fraud testing sites.

The emergence of the highly contagious Omicron type of pathogen has led to an increase in the number of people attempting to get tested for the coronavirus in recent weeks.

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This has skyrocketed the prices of home screening kits sold online.

“Unfortunately, as was the case at the beginning of the pandemic, some people are seeking to profit from this emergency by raising the cost of home testing kits for COVID-19, making testing very difficult,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. he said. A news release on Thursday.

He encouraged people to report potential price hike incidents to file a complaint online, or by calling 213-978-8070.

Chavez said it is unclear how many mock testing facilities are operating in the county. Officials will try to find out and know what may have been done with the information collected on those sites. They will also try to identify the people operating them and determine what legal consequences they may face.

Those seeking a COVID-19 test can find a list of valid places to test for the virus on the county’s website. Chavez said he should be wary of any facility that asks for an excessive amount of information or raises an issue with his health insurance coverage. And no legitimate site will ask patients to pay.

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