COVID testing centers are full amid the recent surge in cases. That has many people turning to at-home COVID tests, but those can be just as hard to find as a testing appointment. NBC 7 looked for answers to common complaints and questions from San Diegans searching for the antigen tests.
"There are people selling COVID tests on social media apps."
Some websites and resale apps show people are selling the tests, often for twice as much as they are found in stores. The high prices are because of the empty shelves at many drugstores, but is this considered price gouging?
It's not clear. However, this weekend Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order giving the Attorney General and District Attorneys more power to crack down on price gouging from sellers of at-home tests.
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"Sellers who have not previously sold at-home COVID-19 test kits may not sell testing kits for a price that is greater than 50% of what the seller paid to acquire the testing kit," said the Attorney General's office in a press release.
If you think you see examples of price gouging the Attorney General recommends filing a report here.
"I've seen there are scams involving COVID antigen tests, how can I not fall for them?"
One reason to not buy from a private seller is the test might not be accurate or even real. Several District Attorneys across California have warned that there are people selling fake or unverified tests.
The FDA has a list of authorized at-home tests on their website here. The list is updated frequently and includes several that were approved earlier this year.
"Sometimes the in-store price on the at-home tests is more than is listed on the website."
Prices of many at-home tests have gone up in recent weeks. One reason for that is the expiration of a deal between some pharmacies and the White House which said the tests would be sold for a large discount for three months. That deal expired over the holidays, but some stores kept the lower pricing through the end of the year.