LOUISVILLE, Ky. — State and local officials are warning against "pop-up" COVID-19 testing sites which offer quick results in exchange for cash.
Dressed head to toe in hazmat gear, a self-proclaimed medical marketing company set up a makeshift testing site on Wayside Christian Mission’s property Tuesday, without the property owner's permission.
"We were having trouble verifying the facts so I had not called him back yet when the group showed up and set up in front of our shelter, on our property and had several people in hazmat suits preparing to test folks," Nina Moseley explained.
Moseley said the group couldn't explain where they got the tests, where the tests were being sent or how they would find the people they tested to share results.
"There was just a lot of red flags going up so we did ask the group to remove themselves from our property," Moseley said.
Mosely said they called police, but the group had packed up and moved on by the time officers arrived.
Less than two miles away, at Sojourn Church Midtown, a similar set up was offering the same test. The church spokesperson said initially they gave the group permission to use their parking lot, and promoted it on the church Facebook.
Wednesday morning, they pulled the plug on what was supposed to be a three day operation, citing "some concerns". According to the Kentucky business portal, the business has never registered with the state. The company contacts listed could not be reached for comment.
The experts at the Better Business Bureau warn if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
"As great as it sounds to be able to go up to someplace, hand them a couple hundred bucks and get test results in 24 hours, that's just not reality at the moment," Mindy Eaton said.
Eaton advised you talk to your doctor when trying to get a test.
"Your doctor is going to be able to go through the proper protocol," Eaton said. "Somebody that you don't know...you don't know what they're doing with that information or with that money."
The mayor’s office said they are aware of the pop-up testing sites. There have been multiple pop-up testing locations in Louisville this week, and law enforcement is now investigating. The office provided this statement:
"We have received calls about multiple pop-up testing sites in the city. These matters have been referred to law enforcement for further review and possible action. Louisville Metro Government was not consulted prior to the sites opening up. At this time, we are advising residents experiencing symptoms to seek COVID-19 testing from hospitals, healthcare providers or government resources."
If you or someone you know has gone to one of these pop-up testing locations, contact FOCUS at firstname.lastname@example.org.