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Amazon rolls out home COVID-19 test kits

The company is assuring buyers that the product is simple and safe

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Photo (c) Jackyenjoyphotography - Getty Images
Amazon has found one more way to connect with consumer’s lives -- a home test kit for COVID-19.

In making the announcement, the company basically said “why not?” It feels that the billions it invested to ensure that its own front-line employees had access to free, regular testing is perfect for everyone.

“Even as COVID-19 vaccinations continue, widespread access to reliable and affordable COVID-19 testing remains a critical tool in the fight against the spread of the virus,” said Cem Sibay, the Amazon vice president at the helm of the company’s COVID-19 testing work. 

“The Amazon collection kit offers customers the convenience they’ve come to expect from Amazon.com by providing access to COVID-19 testing whenever and wherever they need it. The test collection kit provides highly accurate and timely results, helping customers feel more confident as they safely return to travel, work, college, and daily life.”

What assurances will consumers get?

Amazon says the labs that were used to process over 750,000 of its front-line employees are the same ones it will use for the home versions. If there were mistakes made in the process, the company says it learned from them and that consumers can feel comfortable that the kits are reliable.

The company said it went even further to guarantee the reliability of the kit by getting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it noted that the test kit has not been cleared or approved by the agency.

How it works

Amazon says getting a test kit and using it is a fairly simple process. Here’s how it works: 

  1. Buy a collection kit from Amazon ($29.95).

  2. Register the kit and take the test. Amazon says it takes less than 20 minutes to complete that part of the process, and the sample collection is simple and gentle. 

  3. Return the kit to Amazon. 

The purchase price includes Amazon Prime delivery at no additional cost. The kits are processed by Amazon’s in-house laboratory using a sensitive method known as RT-PCR, a procedure approved by the FDA and touted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the “gold standard” diagnostic approach.

After Amazon receives the returned kit, it says users will have their results within 24 hours through Amazon's secure website AmazonDx.com.

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