Sketchy Covid testing, or maybe they aren't sketchy
November 22, 2021 10:21 AM   Subscribe

I live in NYC and all around are these pop-up tent Covid Testing places. I'm not talking about the clearly marked sites run by the City or by major hospitals, but random "no name" sites. They seem so sketchy. The one closest to me occupies the same bit of sidewalk as an Avon table. I've also seen these pop-ups outside NYC (in upstate and Westchester). My question is are these for real? By "for real" I mean legitimate tests?
posted by Pineapplicious to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: In my experience, yes they are 100% legit. LabQ, for example, has been running COVID testing vans all over the City throughout the pandemic. I wouldn't call them "no name," however.
posted by slkinsey at 10:32 AM on November 22, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: In DC there's not too much of a market for testing popups because DC itself is doing a lot of free testing at fire stations and other public locations. But there are a few popups, and the ones I've seen have all been Curative. They're legit and the results came back for us in 24 hours.
posted by fedward at 11:04 AM on November 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

During Halloween, I needed a rapid test done in 24 hours or less to attend an event, and the sites I was closest to were not city-ran, but totally legit. I could see how they might look suspect- one I went to was operating out of an unused building with piles of artwork in the corner and some dusty boxes. But my lab results and rapid test linked to a real lab and I had no issues.
posted by haplesschild at 11:09 AM on November 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think the way you could tell if some place is sketchy is if they seem to be collecting more raw data than usual, or asking for money. The NYC-administered Covid test I did just got my basic name and email address, and then everything else was done via a scannable QR code that was on my form which they matched to a bar code on the test tube they used for my sample. If I had also been asked to provide my address, SSN or insurance card or anything like that, I might have been a little suspicious, but I wasn't bothered by this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:23 AM on November 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I was just wondering this on Saturday when I was at Costco, because right across the street they've erected a gross crusty shed in a shady parking lot, and it's got multiple signs saying COVID TESTING. I meant to take a picture on my way out but forgot. It's extremely untrustworthy looking.

My theory with that place is it's really close to Adams Medill Park, a very large park where they have festivals and stuff, and maybe some enterprising somebody has set up a 15 minute testing shop to snipe people who forget they have to bring proof with them to get in. (That's also why the sketchy parking lot exists, to gouge people for parking rates.)

There's an enormous cottage industry in Chicago for running just-this-side-of-scams on less street savvy sport and festival goers, and this seems to be a natural extension of that. (Theory, I don't actually know.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:02 PM on November 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for these responses. I think I'll ask the one closest to me (with the adjacent Avon table) what lab they work with and investigate further.
posted by Pineapplicious at 11:07 AM on November 23, 2021

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