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COVID-19 Test Delivery

Lead Image © Eric Baradat / Getty Images

Demand for food delivery has skyrocketed during the pandemic, as many restaurants have transitioned to takeout only (and many people have started staying home as much as possible).

Now, food delivery app DoorDash is offering customers something beyond convenient cuisine: same-day COVID-19 test delivery.

At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

Testing is vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19 — if a person doesn't know they have the disease, they might not quarantine while they're contagious.

At the same time, if they have to leave their house to get tested, they could spread the virus to other people — and testing is still a pain in many places.

But the authorization of several at-home COVID-19 test kits offers a solution to this catch-22 — instead of going to a clinic to get tested, people can order a kit, take their own sample, and then send it to a lab for analysis.

The problem is that they might have to wait several days for the test to arrive in the mail and then several more days to receive test results — and while waiting for those results, they might continue to spread the virus to others, who in turn spread it again.

There are at-home COVID-19 tests that deliver immediate results — no shipping to the lab required — but they're hard to get and still require a person to order the test and then wait a day or more for it to arrive.

DoorDash's COVID-19 test delivery service could cut the time between thinking to get tested and getting results.

Same-Day COVID-19 Test Delivery

On March 22, DoorDash announced that it will begin to offer same-day COVID-19 test delivery.

App users will have the option of choosing between two at-home COVID-19 test kits, one by Vault Health and the other by Everlywell. Both are FDA-authorized PCR tests — the gold standard among COVID-19 tests — and they cost $119 and $109, respectively (though insurance may reimburse the cost).

Test users will still need to send their samples to a lab for analysis, but each of the companies' at-home COVID-19 test kits comes with an overnight shipping label. Results can then be expected one to two days after the sample arrives at the lab.

"Getting a kit delivered to your door in hours is a significant step forward for public health."

Marisa Cruz

The results aren't instant, but the service does eliminate the wait on one end.

At first, the COVID-19 test delivery service will only be available to DoorDash users in 12 cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City.

However, the company expects to expand the service to other markets in the coming months.

"The fact that you can now get a kit delivered to your door in hours, quickly collect a sample and drop your kit in the mail, and then receive an accurate COVID-19 diagnosis and speak to a physician about next steps in as little as 24 hours later is a significant step forward for public health," Marisa Cruz, Everlywell's head of clinical affairs, said in a press release.

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