The FCC has confirmed that some COVID-19-related calls and texts fall under an exception to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) protections against unwanted robocalls.
In a clarification issued Tuesday (July 28), the FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau said that robocalls and texts made "on behalf of commercial labs, health insurers, physicians, and pharmacies (health care entities)" that communicate that people have tested positive for COVID-19 and give them information and [give them] info on donating plasma fall under a TCPA "emergency exception" and don't require prior express consent.
The emergency exception applies to calls made affecting the health and safety of consumers, and clearly the COVID-19 testing calls fill the bill. But the bureau reiterated that calls containing advertising and telemarketing services or attempt to collect debt, "even if such debt arises from related health care treatment."
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