Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons in SoCal selling $140 COVID-19 at-home test kit

Customers fill out an online questionnaire reviewed by the store's pharmacist, who then contacts them to schedule a pickup at the store or home delivery.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Local pharmacies in Southern California will now be offering at-home COVID-19 test kits to consumers -- no appointments, no lines and no uncomfortable nasal swabs.

Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons say the tests kits are now available at their pharmacies, but customers must first fill out an online questionnaire.

A pharmacist at Albertsons who spoke to Eyewitness News says customers should be able to get a test kit the same day. The saliva tests can be done at home.

"This is a new, oral saliva testing platform. It is very, very accurate and very, very safe," said Dr. Anthony Cardillo, CEO of Mend Urgent Care in Los Angeles.

Albertsons recently piloted the test kits in Boise, Houston and Austin.

"We had a lot of good feedback. Customers and patients really found it easy to access," said Chi Nguyen, an Albertsons pharmacist.

Customers fill out an online questionnaire reviewed by the store's pharmacist, who then contacts them to schedule a pickup at the store or home delivery. The customer would mail in the sample.

"It takes about 48 hours to 72 hours to get the results back," Cardillo said.

The test costs about $140. For now, the grocery stores say they're unable to bill insurance directly for the test.

Another potential drawback - what happens if someone tests positive?

"That discussion really should be left to a physician or an ancillary provider to talk with those patients," Cardillo said. "It wouldn't be appropriate for the pharmacist to be giving positive results."

"We always want to make sure that we refer them back to their physicians," Nguyen said. "If they're positive, reach out to their doctors right away."
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