You can now buy an at-home COVID-19 test on Amazon for $110 a pop, or $1,000 for 10 tests.
The spit test, made by DxTerity, was the first home-test that the FDA authorized for Americans to take at home without being on a video call with a health care provider.
DxTerity promises test results in 24 to 72 hours, and catches 97 percent of positives that other tests do, and nearly 93 percent of negatives.
With more than 200,000 new coronavirus cases reported a day in the US – including at least 37 ‘super-covid’ infections – and a vaccine rollout moving at a snail’s pace, an easier way to get tested for COVID-19 can’t come soon enough.
But the price may be prohibitive for many Americans, especially with many still relying on stimulus checks to make ends meet.
You can now buy an at-home saliva test for COVID-19 on Amazon for just $110 – or get 10-pack for $1,000
DxTerity’s test is the first fully at-home saliva test for COVID-19 that the FDA authorized to be sold to customers without a prescription or without supervision during sample collection
The worst of the American testing crisis may be past, but getting tested for coronavirus is hardly convenient for most.
Leading up to the holidays, testing lines snaked around city blocks or through massive parking lots as people waited hours in hopes a negative test would make them feel safer seeing loved ones for Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve (despite health officials’ warnings against gatherings).
Last month, the Food and Drug Administration took a step many have called for since the spring: It authorized a coronavirus test that can be taken at home, completely privately.
Regulators previously gave emergency approval to home tests that had to be prescribed.
When people swabbed themselves, they had to be supervised by a clinician via telemedicine.
DxTerity’s test is fully ‘direct-to-consumer,’ meaning you can buy it at will, without a doctor’s note, and don’t need one to supervise you while you give a sample.
That’s because DxTerity’s is a saliva test. It uses spit to detect coronavirus, rather than a swab from inside the nostril.
Initial coronavirus tests were required a deep ‘brain-scraping’ swab, but as scientists honed test designs, they discovered that swabs taken from lower down in the nostril, or even easy-to-collect saliva could be used for the test.
They are not quite as accurate though, so tests should be confirmed with a second gold standard nasal swab test.
DxTerity first sold its tests in bulk to larger businesses for staff-wide on-site testing.
‘We want to expand access to customers at home and small businesses,’ said Dr Bob Terbrueggen, founder and CEO, in a press release.
‘Amazon is the perfect partner for expanding access to millions of U.S. customers.’
A test ordered from Amazon will arrive in two to four business days.
The Amazon seller page for DxTerity notes that, because the test doesn’t require supervision, results may not be accepted for travel purposes.
The box contains a collection tube to spit in, with a replacement cap full of a preservative fluid, registration card to fill out patient information and a sterile bag in which to enclose the sample.
Customers first go online, register their kit with their information, spit in the tube, seal it up, send it back and can expect results within five days.
The test isn’t quite as accurate as gold standard PCR tests, but it’s not too far off.
In a side-by-side comparison with a PCR, it returned positive results for 97 percent of the samples that turned up positive on the tried and true test.
It correctly said that 92.5 percent of samples were negative.
While the FDA and DxTerity say its results should be confirmed with another test, it will certainly be a boon for convenience.
But its cost is high, considering many cities and states now offer free testing.