San Francisco health department warns of 'unauthorized' COVID test sites throughout city

FILE - A medical worker seals a test tube with a COVID-19 nasal swab.

The post-holiday gathering rush to get a COVID test in San Francisco faces a new obstacle. On Friday, the city's health department issued an advisory on Twitter that "unauthorized COVID-19 test sites are popping up throughout the city."

While no further details were given by San Francisco Department of Public Health about what goes on at these bogus sites, they did advise using only authorized testing sites or FDA-approved rapid antigen test kits, despite how difficult they are to find at drug stores and retailers. 

As the omicron variant surges, we've seen long lines for PCR testing sites and reports of people being turned away due to a lack of testing supplies. Appointments can also be difficult to make, but as we learned with the rollout of the vaccine, persistence pays off. 

The health department included a link for testing resources that provides a list of 45 COVID-19 test sites within San Francisco. The schedule for each site varies. Some are on a drop-in basis, others require making an appointment. The majority of the sites are free and do not require health insurance. 

While you should be wary of any suspicious looking sites that ask for personal information or appear to be fraudulent, the city's health department issues a daily list on Twitter that includes which city-run testing sites are available for the day. 

We will bring you the latest on this developing story as we gather more details.