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Amazon offers its in-home COVID-19 tests to consumers

July 6, 2021, 7:40 PM UTC

Amazon has begun selling an at-home COVID-19 test—the same one it administers to its employees.

The retailer announced the availability Tuesday, noting results would be provided within 24 hours of receiving a sample at its lab. No prescription is required, and the test will cost $39.99.

As with other COVID tests, it requires a nasal swab, though one that’s collected in the lower part of the nasal cavity. Amazon says the test takes less than 20 minutes to complete, including both registration and collection. It includes free Prime shipping and a prepaid overnight label to send in samples to Amazon’s lab in Hebron, Ky.

The test is not FDA cleared or approved, but has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA, the company says.

Since the start of the pandemic, Amazon says it has processed the test millions of times for over 750,000 of its own employees, many of whom are warehouse workers and delivery people who kept the company running (and thriving) when much of the rest of the nation’s services were shut down.

“Even as COVID-19 vaccinations continue, widespread access to reliable and affordable COVID-19 testing remains a critical tool in the fight against the spread of the virus,” said Cem Sibay, the Amazon vice president who has headed the COVID-19 testing program, in a blog post.

Individuals who want to buy over-the-counter tests from Amazon or other sources can bill their health insurance plans for those tests. In most cases, insurers are required by the federal government to fully cover COVID tests that have been authorized by the FDA.

Amazon is hardly alone in selling at-home COVID tests. Walgreens has partnered with Everlywell. And others have different options. The market for COVID testing has dropped considerably, however, as infection rates have dropped around the country and vaccines are now widely available.

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