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Posted on: May 11, 2020

COVID-19 Rumor Control - Public Assistance Denial & Child Removal (Fake Letter)

COVID-19 Rumor Control

Please be aware that there is a fake letter and other rumors circulating on social media falsely stating that COVID-19 testing is mandatory for anyone receiving public assistance (CalFresh, MediCal, CalWORKS, etc.), and failure to receive a test will result in suspension of benefits.

The letter also falsely claims that if someone tests positive for COVID-19, his/her children may be removed from the home and placed into foster care. The fake letter that started these rumors was placed on what appears to be official letterhead from the California Department of Social Services.

Merced County and the State have confirmed this letter to be counterfeit. If you see the letter on social media, please disregard it. Should you have any questions regarding social services or child welfare, please contact the Merced County Human Services Agency child welfare hotline at 209-385-3104.