Local retailers offering COVID-19 at-home test kits

PITTSBURGH — Getting tested for COVID-19 is easier than ever, with major retailers now offering at-home test kits.

The days of waiting in long lines and scrambling to book a COVID-19 test are now a thing of the past.

Walmart and Walgreens announced they’re selling an antigen test and it promises to return results in just 15 minutes.

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At CVS, they’re rolling out three over-the-counter COVID-19 tests that you can buy online or in store without a prescription.

Dr. Brian Lamb, internal medicine specialist with Allegheny Health Network, said it brings a layer of convenience and the tests are an option in a pinch.

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He said, however, you still need to err on the side of caution.

Self-administered tests present a margin of error and you must carefully follow the detailed directions.

He said that because they are so new, research on accuracy rates has not yet been released.

“We haven’t seen the actual percentage rates. They do know right now the test does show it’s less sensitive but I don’t know by the exact numbers and that’s what we are waiting to see. So we are waiting to see just how accurate this test is before we can really recommend it from a primary-care standpoint,” Lamb said.

None of the tests is covered by insurance.