On Jan. 8, Gov. Newsom signed Executive Order N-2-22, outlawing price-gouging for at-home COVID-19 test kits until March 31, 2022. Specifically, sellers of these tests may not charge a price that is more than 10% greater than the price they charged on Dec. 1, 2021, unless:
- The price increase is directly attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller’s suppliers.
- The seller was offering these tests at a sale price on Dec. 1, 2021.
- The buyer is the state, or a political subdivision of the state, and the price is approved by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
Special provisions are included for sellers who didn’t sell at-home test kits on Dec. 1, 2021. Violation of the order is a misdemeanor.
Hospitals that purchased these tests for their employees may wish to check the prices they paid and seek a refund from the seller, if appropriate. The California attorney general investigates and punishes price gouging; if you have information or leads to share, use the attorney general’s complaint intake portal.