The Edmonds police sent out a warning Wednesday regarding two curbside COVID test sites that have appeared in downtown Edmonds during the past few days, labeling them as “scams” involving potential identity theft.
Edmonds police spokesperson Sgt. Josh McClure said police made the determination after officers spoke with workers staffing the pop-up sites at 5th and Main and also next to the Edmonds ferry terminal. In addition, police have talked with officials at the Washington State Department of Health, which is investigating after the Snohomish Health District had forwarded emails they received from citizens regarding concerns about “free testing” at the ferry terminal. (See our earlier story here.)
Police have warned those who are working at the test sites, where personal and medical information is collected, that they are involved in a scam and if they continue, they “will be subject to enforcement action for potential identity theft,” McClure said.
McClure also advised the public to be wary of such operations. “Do not provide any personal or medical information other than to your trusted health care provider,” he said.
Health District spokesperson Heather Thomas pointed to a warning from the health district last week that “advises caution in engaging with anyone offering or requiring testing who cannot demonstrate affiliation with a legitimate health care entity. This should include providing proper identification linking them to that entity.”
“Although testing can be mandated by local public health in some circumstances, that authority is never delegated to a non-health district entity,” the warning continued. Individuals should be skeptical about solicitations for free testing in public, at someone’s doorstep, by telephone or email. Unfortunately, risk of sub-standard practices, inaccurate results, or identity theft do exist. People should err on the side of not engaging if approached.”
Those with questions or concerns about the legitimacy of a testing operation should contact the health district by email at email@example.com or share details through the call center at 425-339-5278. If COVID testing is needed, people should contact their health care provider, local pharmacy or visit www.snohd.org/testing.