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Health officials warn about 'unusual' COVID-19 testing operations in King County

The county received reports of people going door-to-door offering tests, and a California company has also set up pop-up locations at parks and sidewalks.

SEATTLE — Officials with Public Health - Seattle & King County issued a warning Thursday about "unusual" COVID-19 test providers, after receiving reports of people going door-to-door offering tests in Auburn. County health officials also raised concerns about pop-up test clinics in parks and street corners in Seattle.

The pop-up testing sites were organized by a California-based company called Community Wellness America, according to the county. The company set up locations in Green Lake Park, Gas Works Park, Ballard and Capitol Hill.

The county health department raised concerns about some of the testers' practices, including not using appropriate personal protective equipment, insecurely collecting patient data and falsely claiming to be "with public health," according to a press release on the health department's blog. 

Credit: Ted Land, KING
King County health officials have raised questions about pop-up testing sites in Seattle.

Additionally, Auburn residents told health officials two people have gone door-to-door promoting at-home testing services, claiming to be nurses but not showing identification when asked. Public health officials have not confirmed the door-to-door group's affiliation.

Seattle-King County Public Health advises people who have been tested by one of the operations to get retested.

Free COVID-19 testing in King County is available in dozens of locations by appointment, including at Curative kiosks, International Community Health Services, Sea Mar Community Health Services, Seattle Indian Health Board at the University of Washington and more.

While COVID-19 vaccinations have been on the rise, public health officials have emphasized that testing remains an important key for getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control.