The Albertsons pharmacy in Durango and the Safeway pharmacy in Cortez are offering saliva tests for COVID-19 for $139.99.
Nikki Price, director of pharmacy operations for Albertsons and Safeway, said the tests are aimed at people who suspect they might have had a recent exposure to the novel coronavirus but do not qualify for free COVID-19 testing. It is also for people who need to prove they are COVID-free for travel, employment or school.
“It’s called a PCR test, which basically means that it tests for active infections. It’s not an antibody test. So it’s not going to tell you if you’ve had COVID,” Price said.
To prevent the spread of the virus, anyone feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 is asked not to enter the store; pharmacies will have tests mailed to them or someone can pick up a test on their behalf, she said.
Also, anyone interested in the test can go to scheduletest.com to complete a short questionnaire to request a test. Albertsons or Safeway pharmacies verify information and notify people when the test is ready for pick up or tests can be mailed to people.
Tests are completed by providing a saliva sample into a test tube and sending it to a lab via the kit’s prepaid, next-day shipping envelope.
Test results will be available 24 to 72 hours after the lab receives the sample, and a patient will be notified of the results either by email or a text message, depending on their preference.
Price said pharmacies will provide paperwork to people to submit to their health insurance carrier to see if the test’s cost is covered by an individual’s policy.
But anyone wishing to obtain a test must initially pay the $139.99 for the test.