Amazon Offers Workers At-Home COVID-19 Testing
Amazon recently received Food and Drug Administration approval for Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) of the Amazon Real-Time RT-PCR diagnostic test for detecting COVID-19 in the U.S.
The nasal swab test can be administered by any individual on themselves, CNBC reports, with or without supervision from a healthcare professional. In this way, Amazon employees can be tested on-site prior to their work shift, or they can test themselves at home.
The test has been developed by STS Lab Holdco, a subsidiary of Amazon.com Services LLC, according to an FDA filing addressed to Cem Sibay, Vice President of Amazon Labs. The FDA authorization indicated that Amazon will be using the test “as part of the company’s overall Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) preparedness and response program.”
The FDA further stated, “All Amazon facilities have health and safety measures in place that are consistent with current public health guidelines.”
Amazon will, additionally, implement a voluntary COVID-19 testing program for employees, where most employees will be tested every 14 days. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had stated in April 2020 that the company was working toward “regular” testing of all its employees, including asymptomatic individuals. In June, the company announced plans to develop standalone diagnostic labs, CNBC reported.
Amazon has not indicated that the newly authorized tests will be sold through Amazon’s ecommerce website or be available to the general public in the future.
However, Amazon has been selling at-home COVID-19 testing kits from DxTerity since January. These tests rely on saliva collection, rather than a nasal swab, making them simpler and less invasive, but also more costly. People can buy a single-use kit for $110, or a 10-pack of testing kits for $1,000. The Amazon website advertises a turnaround time of 24 to 72 hours once results are shipped to a lab in Los Angeles in a pre-paid shipping package.
Individuals can also now have their choice of two versions of saliva test kits, one from Vault Health which sells for $119 and one from Everlywell, which sells for $109, sent directly to their home with same-day delivery and receive their test results within 24 hours. The service is available in more than 20 markets, according to the DoorDash blog.
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