Quest, Albertsons Make At-Home COVID-19 Tests Available

September 17, 2020

Labs and drug stores are making at-home coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests more accessible.

Labs and drug stores are making at-home coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests more accessible.

Quest Diagnostics said consumers can now purchase its QuestDirect COVID-19 Active Infection test online with specimen collection at home or at Walmart Neighborhood Market pharmacies.1

In addition, Albertsons Companies said it is partnering with Phosphorus to offer at-home saliva COVID-19 test kits in select market areas.

Albertsons piloted the test kits in the Houston, Austin, and Boise markets and saw “rapid adoption” from patients, the retailer said in a news release.2

In October, Albertsons expects to have expanded the test kit, which has received Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, to all the market areas it serves.

"Customers appreciate the convenience and innovation of taking the test from their own home,” said Dan Salemi, group vice president of Albertsons Cos. Pharmacy. “The saliva test is easy to use and comfortable. Patients are never more than a phone call away from our pharmacy’s guidance and care. And the at-home model can help ease the burden on a stressed health care system.” 

Accessible, high-quality COVID-19 diagnostic testing is essential to containing the spread of COVID-19, said Jay Wohlgemuth, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Quest Diagnostics, in a statement.2

“Additionally, individuals can receive a self-collection kit either at home or at a nearby Walmart drive thru location, for the ultimate in speed, safety and convenience.”

The Quest can be mailed to the individual’s home. After swab collection, the individual then submits the specimen in the kit via FedEx overnight to a Quest Diagnostics lab for testing.

Or, they can purchase the kit online and take it to one of more than 500 Walmart drive-thru pharmacy window locations for observed collection.

“At these Walmart locations, a trained pharmacist will observe the collection process and the specimen will be picked up from a secure drop box and delivered to a Quest laboratory for testing,” Quest said.

Physicians are available post-test via telehealth to help consumers with interpretation of the result and referral into appropriate care.

To obtain Albertsons’ at-home test kit, patients complete a short online questionnaire at scheduletest.com that is reviewed by a local Albertsons pharmacist. The patient is then contacted by the pharmacy to schedule a pickup or delivery.

The patient completes the saliva sample collection and sends it to the lab via the kit’s prepaid next-day shipping envelope. The results are delivered by email or text — typically within 72 hours or less from the time the lab receives the test, Albertsons said.

After the patient learns of the results, an Albertsons Companies pharmacist is available for questions regarding follow-up care.

References:

1. Albertsons Companies partners with Phosphorus to offer at-home COVID-19 saliva test kits. Albertsons Companies. News release; September 9, 2020. Accessed September 17, 2020. https://www.albertsonscompanies.com/newsroom/9-9-20-Albertsons-Companies-partners-with-Phosphorus-to-offer-at-home-COVID-19-test-kits.html

2. Quest Diagnostics now offers two consumer-initiated and physician-ordered COVID-19 diagnostic test options for active COVID-19 infection through QuestDirect™. Quest Diagnostics. News release; September 17, 2020. Accessed September 17, 2020. https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2020-09-17-Quest-Diagnostics-Now-Offers-Two-Consumer-Initiated-and-Physician-Ordered-COVID-19-Diagnostic-Test-Options-for-Active-COVID-19-Infection-Through-QuestDirect-TM