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Harris County Health answers questions about COVID test sites, free at-home test kits

Harris County Public Health Associate Director for COVID-19 Scott Jeansonne says legitimate county test sites will have posted signs and are listed online.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — How do you know if COVID-19 testing sites are legitimate?

If the tests and vaccines are supposed to be free, why are some people being asked to pay for them? Those are the kinds of questions viewers have been sending us.

We went to Harris County Public Health Associate Director for COVID-19 Scott Jeansonne for answers.

How do you know if a COVID testing site is legit?

“Believe it or not, we've actually had some people call in and say, 'Well, I went to a COVID testing site and they had a credit card machine.' I can tell you right off the bat, if you see a credit card machine, you're probably not at a legitimate testing site. There's not really any regulation of those testing sites, at least that Harris County Public Health performs. We have several sites up all over the county, and you will see our logo, our trucks out, there are signs and things like that. I would maybe spend less time worrying about which sites are legit or not and just go to the ones that you know are legit,” Jeansonne said.

Will Harris County charge for a COVID test or vaccine?

“Harris County, as the government, no, we will not charge for any of that. All of our vaccine sites and our testing sites are no charge,” Jeansonne said.

Are there free at-home COVID tests available to the public? If so, where can people pick them up, and how many can they take home?

“We are in the process of obtaining some at-home test kits right now, but we're going to primarily be using those in conjunction, maybe with some schools and a few other health clinics and such that we partner with,” Jeansonne said.

If someone does have an issue and they're worried, who can they contact?

“On our registration site, our website, and Ready Harris has the link to register for a vaccine site and our registration sites. So, when you go onto those links, you can see the list of all of the sites and so if you're sitting at a place, and it's not on there, then you know, the legitimacy might pop into play, because I can tell you that it would not be one of our sites, if it's not on the registration,” Jeansonne said.

If you think you may be a vaccine or testing site that you believe might not be legitimate, you can call the Harris County COVID Hotline to report it. That number is 832-927-7575.

Check out more COVID-19 stories on the KHOU 11 YouTube channel: