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Ventura County gets complaints about pop-up COVID-19 testing sites in Oxnard

Tracy Lehr / KEYT

OXNARD, Calif. (KEYT) — The city of Oxnard has been alerting its residents for questionable pop-up COVID-19 testing sites around some neighborhoods.

Authorities urge the population to look for testing sites, which are run by the State, Ventura County Public Health, pharmacies, or licensed companies.

Some visitors to the questionable sites allege being asked to provide cash or social security numbers. 

On the Facebook page of Citizens for a Better Oxnard, a post had residents reporting their experience about a site at Trinity Community Church.

Senior Pastor Carlos D. Speights told the News Channel his church does not control the testing site, but offered space for it on the edge of church property. He aid the church was simply trying to aid the community and would never allow fraudulent activities under the church's name.

Ventura County Health public information officer Ashley Bautista confirmed complaints about privately operated testing sites, including the one at the church, have been received by officials, and wants to get the word out to make sure residents know COVID-19 testing is offered for free with listings on an official website .

The health department supports those sites to help reduce demands in emergency rooms.

Another option is to visit a community testing site or a primary care physician to determine your COVID-19 status.

Editors note: This story has been updated with responses from church leadership and Ventura County Health officials and to clarify some sites are privately operated but not necessarily "fake."

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Janete Weinstein

Janete Weinstein is a multimedia journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Janete, click here.


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