Some police departments around the region are issuing warnings of unconfirmed reports that there is a coronavirus testing scam in which solicitors allegedly make door-to-door calls at homes claiming that they can immediately conduct a test.
"There is no legitimate agency or organization that is doing this and this is likely an attempt at a distraction burglary," Ravenna police posted on their Facebook page Wednesday.
"While this has not happened in Ravenna, we are passing along this information for awareness. Unfortunately, some people will try and take advantage of the current situation. If someone comes to your door saying they are testing for this, close your door, do not let them inside your home for any reason and immediately call the police."
Bedford, Solon, and Hinckley police and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office have also recently posted similar warnings on Facebook.
"When they get a resident to fall for their scam they do a pretend test and they either charge for the test or rob the resident," says the Hinckley police post.
Summit County Sheriff’s Inspector Bill Holland said he had not heard of such a scam in the county, nor could he find any sheriff’s reports concerning a scam.
Meanwhile, legitimate help is available.
Medical professional say that anyone who suspects they may have coronavirus should first call they primary care physician or use one of the many virtual health lines that area health systems are offering to help screen for illness.
Cleveland Clinic is waiving fees for its on-demand and scheduled around-the-clock virtual visits for the public at www.clevelandclinic.org/eco regardless of health coverage.
Summa Health is waiving its usual $29 fee for 24/7 virtual visits for COVID-19 screenings and e-visits for flu, sinus infections, hay fever and allergies.
Audio/video visits also are still available for $49.
Patients can visit www.Summahealth.org/virtualvisit and choose the e-visit service.
The e-visit platform and screening is available around-the-clock. Providers are available and will answer visits within an hour of completion, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
Akron Children’s Hospital is offering free COVID-19 screening through its virtual care portal for patients of its pediatric locations. There is a fee of $49 for other services or diagnoses.
The service at www.akronchildrens.org/pages/Quick-Care-Online-Virtual-Visits.html is available daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.
One thing that healthcare professionals are saying people should not do is go to an emergency room unless they have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, or are having some other emergency, such as a heart attack.
"Please don't go to ER to just get tested. Please help us take best possible care with emergencies," said Dr. Brian Harte, Cleveland Clinic Akron General president at a Summit County Public Health press conference on Friday. "If you are symptomatic, virtually call and evaluate symptoms and help arrange for that through testing availability."
Editor’s note: reporter Betty Lin-Fisher contributed to this story.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.