Here’s how to know if a COVID-19 pop-up testing site is legitimate

Pop-up sites are those not run by the county, state or a pharmacy

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – With a high demand for COVID-19 tests, the Department of Health in Osceola County said they’ve seen an uptick when it comes to people reaching out to them trying to verify pop-up COVID-19 testing sites.

New 6 sat down with Jeremy Lanier, the county health department’s public information officer, to talk about what people can do to make sure a testing site is legitimate.

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“I’m getting a number of calls daily about concerns about pop-up sites and ways to vet them, and unfortunately, the pressure is on the consumer really to ask the right questions,” Lanier said.

Lanier said there are questions people should be asking when considering a pop-up testing site that’s not run by the county, state or a pharmacy.

The questions are:

  • What type of test are you offering?
  • Who is providing the test?
  • What facility are you associated with?
  • What lab do you send results to? Do you have a customer service number?

Additionally, Lanier said there are other red flags people should look out for. One of them is if a site asks for a Social Security number.

Lanier said there are very few identifiers that should be provided, the required information including a person’s name, a contact phone number and a birth date.

Lanier said, however, if all of the questions check out, the site may be legitimate.

He told News 6 about a pop-up site he recently looked into.

“If we receive information about a public site, especially if it’s a really busy one, we basically want to get information about that site so that we can make sure it’s accurate and share it with the community. In this case, it was a valid pop-up site,” Lanier said.

In addition to pop-up testing sites, Lanier also warns of people trying to sell at-home testing kits. He said people should be weary of those going door-to-door trying to sell them.

If there are concerns regarding a testing site or kit, Lanier said there are a number of outlets people can contact, including Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA).

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.