Costco is now selling an at-home COVID-19 test that can diagnose the novel coronavirus using only a saliva sample (no nasal swab necessary). Costco is offering the test, which is FDA-authorized, in partnership with the digital health platform, AZOVA. (Albertsons has also been offering an at-home saliva test for COVID, albeit with a different health partner.)
Clinical studies indicate the test is highly accurate (98 percent of all positives, and 99 percent of all negatives, were confirmed as correct during testing). The test is available only online at Costco.com, although not in Maryland, Nevada, or Pennsylvania. It’s available to the general public, but non-members pay a 5% surcharge.
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The process for buying and using the test is fairly simple. After you make your purchase, you’ll be sent a redemption code (usually within the hour, via email), for use on the AZOVA website, where you’ll also have to complete an online health assessment before the test kit ships to you. Once you receive the test, you’ll simply follow the directions, which we can’t emphasize this enough, require no nasal swabbing. Your results will be available, via the secure AZOVA app, within 24 to 72 hours from the time the lab receives your kit.
Costco began selling the test just days after the test received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for at-home self-administration. It’s worth noting, however, that the EUA doesn’t reflect any change to the the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as to who should be tested for COVID-19. As of October 21, the CDC recommends that “not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19” and that you should only get tested if you:
- have symptoms of COVD-19 (which usually present in this particular order)
- were, during the last 14 days, in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or
- were asked, by your healthcare provider or health department, to get testing.
The not-so-good news is that the test costs $129.99. The better news is that the cost is FSA eligible. In other words, you can submit the receipt for reimbursement if you have a flexible medical spending account with your employer. For more of-the-moment grocery store news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter.