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Safeway pharmacies selling at-home coronavirus tests

Coronavirus tests are available at Safeway pharmacies nationwide.

WASHINGTON — Safeway grocery stores with pharmacies are now selling coronavirus tests that can be delivered straight to your home.  If you’ve had symptoms or been exposed to someone who has tested positive these are for you, for a small fee.

“The tests are FDA approved and it's it does have a very, it's got a very good margin when it comes to actually, you know, positive or negative results.” Dr. Olamide Banjo, the Patient Care Services Manager and Pharmacist with Safeway said.  

The grocery chain is now offering a coronavirus test at their locations that have pharmacies for $139.99.

 “It does involve a saliva sample. So, they collect their own sample whenever they're ready, and then actually mail it in a prepaid envelope; and typically the turnaround time for the test is about 24 to 72 hours.” Dr. Banjo added.

Getting a test sent to your home is relatively easy. You must first register online. 

“When you go onto scheduledtest.com, it asks you a series of health screening questions. Similar to what we've been used to with COVID-19, do you have any symptoms, etc. You either have the option to come into the pharmacy to pick up your test in person, or you can opt to have the test mailed to you at home, so you'll be able to select those options online.” Dr. Banjo said.

Some doctors say the nation is still not testing enough and these at-home tests can curb some of the need.  

“I think that this is a good opportunity for people who can't get in to see their physician, who live far away from a testing center, or who don't necessarily have health insurance to cover the cost of a test at their doctor's office," Dr. Linda Nahaba said.

Dr. Banjo also notes, in the event you test positive, the local health agencies are also notified. 

“The test report to local reporting agency any kind of reporting requirement that’s required on a state by state level and county level that’s also taken care of,” said Dr. Banjo.

Another thing to note about the test, you do not need insurance to purchase one.  They are billing the patient directly and providing billing statements if you do need to submit it to your insurance for reimbursement.

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