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Safeway, Albertsons pharmacies offer at-home COVID-19 test kits

The at-home COVID-19 test kits cost $139.99.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies are joining the fight against COVID-19. The pharmacies in Oregon and Southwest Washington are now offering at-home test kits.

"We think it's real important to take care of the community and customers at large," said Stephen Certo, Director of Pharmacy Operations for the Portland Division of Albertsons-Safeway.

Certo says anyone interested in an at-home test kit can request one through a website. The test kit will be mailed to your home or you can pick it up at the pharmacy.

"Obviously, if someone is concerned the patient may have COVID we don't want them in the store," said Certo. "We can mail them the kit."

Certo says the $140 saliva tests, manufactured by Phosphorus Diagnostics, are 98% accurate. 

Credit: Nicky Nielsen, Albertsons
The at-home test kits yield results in 72 hours.

Critics questioned the accuracy of the test in social media posts. They also questioned how the at-home test kits are better than drive-thru testing.

"There's a lot of things about social distancing and some of those drive-thru clinics," said Certo. "A lot of people don't like the nasal ones cause they're real hard and people don't like the feeling."

Certo says test results take about 72 hours. He believes these tests will go a long way in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

"I think people are concerned and want to take care of their own health and this is an opportunity to do that."

The at-home COVID-19 test kits have received emergency use authorization by the FDA. 

Certo says insurance companies cannot be billed directly. Currently, these tests are out of pocket. You may get reimbursed by submitting a receipt to your insurance company. 

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