SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order this weekend aimed at preventing price gouging on COVID-19 at-home test kits, which are in high demand due to the omicron variant surge.
The order generally prohibits sellers from increasing prices on the test kits by more than 10 percent.
State Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a consumer alert following the governor's signing of the order and encouraged anyone who has been a victim of price-gouging on at-home COVID-19 test kits to file a complaint with his office or contact local law enforcement.
"Californians are doing their part to confront this challenge -- whether by caring for loved ones, getting vaccinated, or working on the front lines - and they shouldn't have to worry about being cheated while dealing with the effects of coronavirus," Bonta said.
The order signed by Newsom prohibits sale of at-home COVID-19 test kits at a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price the seller charged for the item on Dec. 1, 2021.
Sellers who haven't previously sold at-home COVID-19 test kits may not sell them at a price that is greater than 50 percent of what the seller paid for them.
Violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both. Violations would also constitute a violation of the Unfair Competition Law, which is subject to a $2,500 per violation civil penalty.
Price-gouging complaints can be filed at oag.ca.gov/report.