Select national retailers now selling at-home COVID-19 tests

Apr 24, 2021

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As millions of Americans receive a COVID-19 vaccine each day, we can be more confident that an end to the pandemic that upended the world over the last year is in sight.

And as we begin to return to “normal” life, which includes traveling more frequently, many public health experts agree that continued testing for COVID-19 will be critical to the recovery of the economy as the country continues to vaccinate as many people as possible.

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Having access to fast, affordable and convenient testing options is more important than ever to continue making progress against the pandemic and to help facilitate safe travel while most of the world is still dealing with the health crisis in one way or another.

Fortunately, several national retailers now sell at-home testing kits.

According to AARP, Abbott Laboratories began shipping its at-home antigen testing product to various CVS, Walgreens and Walmart retail stores across the country. The Abbott kit comes with two tests and sells for $23.99, and can be purchased online through those chains.

And by the end of next month, another company called Ellume hopes to have its own at-home testing kit on the shelves of most CVS stores. Both tests have received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Unlike other at-home testing products, Abbott’s do-it-yourself tests do not require you to send your kit to a lab for processing. In fact, you will get results in about 15 minutes.

However, it’s important to note that the majority of countries requiring negative COVID tests for entry will only accept results from PCR tests, so you would not be able to utilize one of these at-home testing kits for your pre-departure testing requirement. Some PCR companies do offer at-home test kits, and the results from some of these kits have begun being accepted in certain destinations.

Theoretically, you could purchase one of these rapid-test kits before a trip and then administer the test yourself while abroad, but it’s generally safer to get tested through your hotel or a local lab, since we don’t yet know if results from these kinds of kits will be accepted for entry into the United States.

Featured photo by BCFC via Shutterstock

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