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Illinois attorney general issues warning about pop-up COVID testing sites

Attorney General Kwame Raoul said pop-up testing sites "are not licensed or regulated by any government agency."

ILLINOIS, USA — The Illinois attorney general is warning residents to be warry of pop-up COVID-19 testing sites.

In a press release, Attorney General Kwame Raoul said pop-up testing sites "are not licensed or regulated by any government agency, and the Attorney General’s office cannot confirm the legitimacy of individual pop-up testing locations."

Raoul advised people to go to a state-sponsored testing site or a site recommended to them by their primary care physician.

For people who do choose to use a testing site that is not state-sponsored, Raoul provided the following points to consider:

  • What tests does the site administer?
  • Who analyzes the results?
  • What laboratory does the site use? Visit https://www.cdc.gov/clia/LabSearch.html to determine whether the lab being used is CLIA certified.
  • When will test results be communicated to you, and how/from whom will you receive that communication?
  • Who can you call with questions or concerns about results?
  • What type of personal information will the site ask you to provide?
  • Does the site charge any out-of-pocket fee?
  • Does the site appear to observe the CDC’s recommendations to protect against COVID-19? For instance, do workers maintain a distance of six feet between people and wear masks indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission? https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

When getting a COVID-19 test, the attorney general's office said sites will often ask for insurance information and identification. If a site asks for more information than you are comfortable providing, ask if you can get a test without providing it, and don't be afraid to walk away.

The release said to consider the requirement of out-of-pocket payment a red flag and to be cautious if a site requests that payment through a debit or credit card.

The release said if you visit a testing site where something doesn't seem right, get a test somewhere else. If you think you were the victim of fraud, file a complaint with the attorney general's office.

In addition to being careful when it comes to testing sites, Raoul is also asking people to keep an eye out for fake testing kits or price gouging on real testing kits. Check the FDA's website for a list of approved at-home test kits.

"Consumers should expect to pay between $14 and $25 for packs of at-home rapid test kits, such as those from iHealth or Binax NOW," the release said.

Anyone who as witnessed or was victimized by price gouging can report it to the attorney general's office here.