FDOH in Collier County warns of door-to-door COVID test solicitations

The Florida Department of Health in Collier County said Thursday that there are people soliciting neighborhoods offering COVID-19 home test kits for a fee.

“This is not something that DOH employees would be doing, this is not something local health providers would be doing as well; we believe this is a scam,” said Kristine Hollingsworth with FDOH in Collier County.

They don’t know if the tests will even make it to the lab or have a turnaround time like credible COVID tests.

Officials said the sellers have been spotted on Marco Island and in neighborhoods in Golden Gate City.

Isack Barahona, who lives in Golden Gate, believes they were on his street.

“They carry paper on the thing and they just knock door to door with yellow jackets, yeah,” he said.

A mother who lives in Golden Gate said it’s uncommon to have solicitors in her quiet neighborhood.

“I do know other people that don’t speak good English and they might not understand and would go for it, there are older people,” said Katarzyna Lewandowska.

With the health department not knowing if these tests are valid, it means the results may not be, either.

“If I were to get tested, I would probably go somewhere close as I can get to NCH hospital,” Lewandowska said.

Testing locations provided by DOH-Collier can be found here. A list of testing locations across Southwest Florida is also available here.

The Marco Island Police Department responded to the report of solicitors with a reminder: Door-to-door solicitation on Marco Island, without a permit, is a violation the City’s Code of Ordinances. They said to report any door-to-door solicitation or suspicious circumstances by calling them at (239) 389-5050.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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