By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) – There is no longer the need to drive to get a COVID-19 test. Safeway and Albertsons pharmacies in Colorado are selling an “at home kit” that you can have delivered to your door.

No appointment, no line, no swab, but be ready to pay out of pocket.

A medical staff arranges material for rapid antigen tests for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

A medical staff arranges material for rapid antigen tests for the COVID-19 coronavirus. (credit: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

“This is a much easier and more convenient way to take the test,” said Pharmacist Tony Saiz, Patient Care Services Manager for Albertsons Safeway.

The at-home COVID-19 test kit is just a small cardboard box with about a half dozen items. Getting one starts online. You will then hear from a pharmacist who will quiz you, then order your kit for pickup or delivery.

It includes instructions, a prepaid shipping envelope and of course, a plastic tube where you deposit your saliva.

“There’s quite a bit of saliva that you have to fill in,” Saiz told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh..

No nasal swab included, spit is one of the selling points.

“I’ve heard some people who have had the nasal swab,” said Saiz. “That it goes way up into their nose, and that they’re irritated even for a little bit of time afterward.”

(credit: Safeway/Albertsons)

Saiz said the take home test is not FDA approved, but has Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). After you send it in, test results show up in an email or text in 48 to 72 hours.

“Overall, the accuracy is greater than 98%,” Saiz said.

But all those pluses come with a price.

“It is not free. The retail for this is $139.99,” he said.

When 79-year-old David Wilson heard that, he got a little sticker shock.

“I think it’s a little pricey, but if insurance covers it who cares,” Wilson said.

“It is not covered by the pharmacy benefit plan,” explained Saiz.

But he said you can submit your receipt and see if your medical insurance is willing to pay.

Again this at home test is about no line, no appointment, no swab. For some, the convenience may well be worth the cost.

Kathy Walsh

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