Of course, unauthorized testing sites appear in SF as COVID testing becomes scarce

File under: We should have seen this coming. With rare home test kits, impossible-to-find appointments, and lines winding around blocks at city-authorized walk-in sites, some enterprising but shady characters have launched COVID testing sites. pop-ups around town that aren’t legitimate at all.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health issued an alert on Friday saying, “Unauthorized COVID-19 testing sites are popping up all over the city. We know the demand for testing is high. Please use authorized testing sites or FDA approved rapid tests.

If you can’t find a home test at a pharmacy, you can contact your primary care doctor or go to a city-sponsored testing site, which exists in large numbers, although not all of them work every day. And if you’re not sure if a test site you are seeing is legitimate, check if it’s listed on that city map – and you’ll likely know if it’s trying to charge you money for a test.

Plus, it becomes less and less necessary to officially confirm whether or not you have COVID – especially if you are asymptomatic, unless you have to be in a group or surrounded by vulnerable people next week. If you know you’ve been exposed and have mild symptoms, you still need to isolate yourself and assume you have it – and try to get a quick home test to confirm if you can.

Incidentally, SFist has heard of test sites turning people away because they run out of test supplies and lines that go on for hours to get tested. Also, to the point that all of this is sort of unnecessary, we hear about extreme delays in retrieving test results. On a Union Square site, people reported a six-day wait for results, making the test virtually useless.

Still, some people – especially the unvaccinated – get very sick from the Omicron variant, and the number of cases in SF continues to skyrocket. Since the official numbers are likely to be an extreme undercount, given the barriers to testing and the widespread use of home tests, you just have to assume for a few weeks that Omicron is all you’re in. outside the house.

Mask yourself, preferably with an N95 or KN95, and do your best to stay safe.

Previously: SF COVID tests in Meltdown, as lines span multiple blocks, results take days

Photo: Alessandro Biasciolli / Getty Images

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