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Beware of Fake Letter Saying COVID Tests Required for Public Benefits



The word "fake" and coronavirus circles
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There’s a fake letter, as well as false social media posts, going around targeting Californians receiving public assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interim Fresno County Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, and other Central Valley public officials are warning residents that the letter is fake.

In a nutshell, the fake letter and social media posts falsely state that COVID-19 testing is mandatory for anyone receiving public assistance (CalFresh, MediCal, CalWORKS, etc.), and failure to receive a test will result in the suspension of benefits.

The letter also falsely claims that if someone tests positive for COVID-19, their children may be removed from the home and placed in foster care. The fake letter that started the rumors comes with letterhead resembling that of the California Department of Social Services.

The state has confirmed the letter is fake.

If you have questions about benefits, social services, or child welfare, call your county human services agency.