December 19, 2020
Philadelphia residents could have COVID-19 tests delivered to their doors from online food and convenience store delivery app goPuff, as soon as next week.
The Philly-based company has partnered with Purlab — a coronavirus testing company based in New York — to distribute the saliva-sample tests in more than 500 cities across the country, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
Once a person has collected a saliva sample, it is repackaged in a pre-labeled box and shipped to the Rutgers University RUCDR Infinite Biologistics Lab, for analysis. The Rutgers lab helped develop the test.
Results are returned via Purlab's app within 24 to 72 hours of the lab s receiving the sample.
A goPuff spokesperson told PBJ that the test kits, which costs $129.99, are covered by most insurance companies. This type of test was approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year.
"The health and wellbeing of goPuff's customers, employees, driver partners and the community is always our top priority, which is why we continue to identify new opportunities to give back and provide support," Rafael Ilishayev, co-founder and co-CEO of goPuff, said. "GoPuff's unique business model enables us to quickly add new products to our assortment, then safely deliver those items to customers in just minutes from our local micro-fulfilment centers."
The president of Purlab, Michael Cohen, said saving time is "incredibly important to consumers seeking to test for Covid," and that the partnership is beneficial for both companies.
GoPuff has become increasingly popular during the pandemic because of shutdowns and stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The company opened a location in Port Richmond in the spring to keep up with the demand.
The company was launched in 2013 by two Drexel University students while they were still in school. The business started as a way for party supplies to be delivered to college students and expanded across the country to deliver everything from groceries to cleaning supplies.
GoPuff has been active in pandemic-related relief. The company matched $1 million in donations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America's Covid-19 Relief Fund and donated 50,000 masks to Philadelphia and Miami, as well as the University of Pennsylvania and other colleges. It also launched a $1 million initiative to support health care workers.