Scammers Selling Unauthorized Rapid Tests Or Have Zero Inventory
News outlets cover how fraudsters are taking advantage of people searching for at-home tests and even leveraging the launch of the new government site for free tests. In San Francisco, the city has subpoenaed records from an unauthorized covid testing operator suspected of fraud.
Scammers Are Selling Bogus Home COVID-19 Tests. Here's How To Avoid Fakes
With home COVID-19 tests at the top of Americans' shopping lists as the Omicron variant continues to spread, scammers are trying to cash by taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers. ... The scams can take different forms. Some fraudsters pretending to be genuine merchants are hawking unauthorized rapid tests, while others have no merchandise on hand and just want to take your money and run. (Cerullo, 1/20)
Fraudsters Lurking As People Order COVID Tests From New Government Website
You can now order free COVID tests to be sent to your home through the government website covidtests.gov, but knowing this is a website that will be accessed by people nationwide the fraudsters are already launching attacks. News5 shares information on the warning for consumers. If you take one thing away from this report, please keep this in mind no one will call, text, or email you from the federal government to ask for your information to help you order free COVID tests. These are the main ways fraudsters will attempt to launch their scam attacks. (Nelson, 1/21)
San Francisco Subpoenas Unauthorized COVID Testing Operator
San Francisco’s city attorney has issued subpoenas seeking records from an unauthorized COVID-19 test operator and laboratory suspected of trying to scam people out of money or personal information. City Attorney David Chiu announced the legal action Thursday after the companies missed a Monday deadline to provide valid licenses. (1/20)
And more on testing —
The Washington Post:
Can I Use An At-Home Test On A Baby?
With omicron exploding throughout the United States, many of the questions that have bedeviled caregivers for the length of the pandemic are taking on a new urgency. If we want our children to stay healthy, and not infect other friends, families and strangers, what should we be doing right now? What shouldn’t we be doing? Because omicron appears to cause less severe illness, does it even matter if a healthy kid catches covid? (Rogers and Joyce, 1/20)
Is Sharing A COVID Test A Bad Idea, Or Just A Gross One?
“It started as a joke, actually,” Elena Korngold told me. But late last month, the 40-something radiologist from Portland, Oregon, and her family decided that their unsanctioned scheme couldn’t hurt. Elena began the proceedings by unwrapping the sterile swab from a BinaxNOW rapid test for SARS-CoV-2, part of the family’s dwindling supply. She swirled the swab around the insides of each of her nostrils. Then she passed it to her husband, a cardiologist named Ethan, who swirled it around the insides of each of his nostrils. Then their two children did the same. It was “like some sort of religious ritual,” Elena said. (Gutman, 1/20)
Biden Administration’s Rapid-Test Rollout Doesn’t Easily Reach Those Who Need It Most
In the past week, the Biden administration launched two programs that aim to get rapid covid tests into the hands of every American. But the design of both efforts disadvantages people who already face the greatest barriers to testing. From the limit placed on test orders to the languages available on websites, the programs stand to leave out many people who don’t speak English or don’t have internet access, as well as those who live in multifamily households. All these barriers are more common for non-white Americans, who have also been hit hardest by covid. The White House told KHN it will address these problems but did not give specifics. (Recht and Knight, 1/20)
COVID Detector: Yale Researchers Develop A Wearable Clip
Today, we usually only learn about exposure to COVID when we find out someone we've been in contact has tested positive or symptoms of our own arise. Or perhaps you've scrambled to get at-home tests or queued up for a laboratory-processed COVID test. Also, many states have smartphone apps that can alert us to possible exposure, but that requires people to opt in. It's not available for everyone yet, but Yale University researchers have developed an easy-to-use clip-on device that can detect low levels of SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the air around you, according to research published Jan. 11 in the peer-reviewed online journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters. (Snider, 1/20)