Beware of pop-up Covid testing sites.....

Sandra Jaramillo needed a negative Covid-19 test to return to work but was coming up empty on finding a same-day test due to overwhelming demand.

Jaramillo was experiencing headaches and a fever, and with limited options, she decided to stop at a pop-up testing site set up in the parking lot of a church near her home in San Antonio.

Under a small tent, she was told to give her driver's license number, date of birth and email address before she was handed a swab to administer the test on herself.

That was more than a week ago, Jaramillo said, now panicked that her personal information may have been be compromised.

No one ever answers the number listed on the information sheet she was given, and the voice mailbox is full.

“At this point, it’s making me feel like I am being scammed,” Jaramillo, 32, said. “It's been terrible. It feels like there is no choice and nowhere to turn [for a test].”


Numerous illegal, unapproved and unsanitary sites have been cautioned by state officials nationwide.

Outside of St. Louis, a Covid testing site set up at a mall parking lot and was asking people to provide Social Security and passport ID numbers when registering for tests. It was shut down by police, who later urged anyone who visited the site to monitor their credit reports for fraudulent activity.

At least two sites were identified in Baltimore, where state Attorney General Brian Frosh warned residents to be aware of "illegal, unlicensed pop-up COVID-19 testing sites” that were collecting personal information that could be used for identity theft.

Unsanitary sites were reported in Chicago with workers not wearing masks or gloves. Conditions were being described as a “hellhole,” nonprofit news organization Block Club Chicago reported. People who visited said they never got their results or they came in weeks after visiting.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker described the testing spots as “fly-by-night” sites that are “an enormous problem,” before vowing to crack down on them.