January 06, 2021
Health officials have long stressed the importance of making COVID-19 testing accessible to both symptomatic and asymptomatic people in order to stop the spread of the virus.
Now, getting a coronavirus test is as easy as online shopping.
Amazon started selling the genomic company DxTerity Diagnostic's COVID-19 Saliva at-Home Collection Kit on Tuesday. That means people can have a COVID-19 test delivered to their doors without leaving their homes.
The kit comes with an empty tube for collecting a saliva sample. The sample must be sent to a lab in Los Angeles for testing. Results come back 24 to 72 hours after the saliva tube is received by the lab, according to DxTerity.
The test kit is available in single packs that cost $110 and packs of 10 that cost $1,000. Prepaid express return shipping is included in the cost of the kit.
The kit appears to be the only test for sale on Amazon, CNN reported. It was the first at-home saliva kit that tests both symptomatic and asymptomatic people authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Though most places offer free or low-cost in-person testing, some people are willing to pay a premium for at-home testing with a quick turnaround.
Amazon is one of a few businesses offering at-home tests. The Philadelphia-founded delivery service, GoPuff, also is among them.
An over-the-counter coronavirus test from digital diagnostics company Ellume also was authorized last month by the FDA. That test costs $30 and does not require a prescription.
A nasal swab test is the most effective type of testing, though a saliva test, like DxTerity's, can still provide accurate results, Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, told CNN last April.
Of all the diagnostic tests, nasal swabs have the least amount of false negatives, he said.
DxTerity saliva testing kits are used by more than 130 corporate partners, but this is the first time consumers will be able to purchase these kits.
"We have demonstrated the reliability and quality of our COVID-19 testing solution with big business and now we want to expand access to customers at home and small businesses," Bob Terbruggen, founder and CEO of DxTerity, said in a press release. "Amazon is the perfect partner for expanding access to millions of U.S. customers."