Costco is a great place for discounted items and bulk shopping, but it’s probably not ideal for finding out if you have the coronavirus.
Costco has begun selling at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests online, and there are two choices: a saliva kit for $129.99 and the same kit with video observation for travelers, costing $139.99.
Perhaps the main reason to avoid going with Costco is price. You don’t need to pay a cent to be tested for the coronavirus, thanks to the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which became law in March.
As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explains:
“COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures that COVID-19 testing is free to anyone in the U.S., including the uninsured. Additional testing sites may be available in your area.”
Pharmacy giants Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid are all administering free tests at selection locations, and some Walmart Neighborhood Market pharmacies are supporting drive-thru testing.
The Department of Health has a handy website that allows you to see where you can get a free test in all 50 states.
Using a coronavirus diagnostic test kit from Costco also is a bit cumbersome, and receiving the results might take longer than if you went to a local pharmacy for a free test.
There are several steps to complete before a kit is shipped to you — including completing a health assessment and requesting a lab order — and you won’t get the kit until the following day. Then, after collecting your saliva sample, you ship it to the lab, which will return the results 24-72 hours after receiving your test.
Compare that with Walgreens, which generally returns results in one to three days from the time you are tested, and CVS gives results in two to three days — and in some cases the same day.
Of course, if you are trying to be ultra-safe and don’t want to venture outside, Costco’s at-home test kit might be the best option for you.
It also is cheaper than some other at-home diagnostic test kits available online: It comes in cheaper than Albertsons’ ($139.99), about the same price as Vitagene’s ($129) but more expensive than Everlywell’s ($109).
For more information about how you can cope with the coronavirus pandemic, check out Money Talks News’ wealth of articles, including “These 5 Cleaning Products Kill the Coronavirus” and “Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19.”
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