Covid: DoorDash delivers at-home test kits

Cody Godwin - BBC News, San Francisco
·2 min read
A mobile phone showing the DoorDash logo sits between a fork and a knife on top of a dinner plate
A mobile phone showing the DoorDash logo sits between a fork and a knife on top of a dinner plate

Would you like a Covid test with your chips?

Some US residents can now get one alongside a meal after food ordering service DoorDash announced they'll deliver at-home tests to cities across the country.

Two types of tests will be available - a nasal swab or a saliva sample - the company said. Both can yield results within 24 to 48 hours.

It is the first such scheme to be launched by a delivery service.

"Amidst the pandemic, one of our priorities has been to make health and wellness essentials more accessible for customers, and we will continue to expand our offerings in the healthcare space," a spokesperson for DoorDash said.

DoorDash is offering polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits from Vault Health and Everlywell. Such tests can pick up smaller amounts of the virus that other tests might miss.

They can be ordered in two ways: via the DoorDash app or through Vault Health's website.

Delivery via the app is available in 12 cities including Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, and Phoenix, with plans to expand.

Ordering via Vault Health's website allows users in 20 cities - including Houston, Las Vegas, and San Diego - to have a test kit delivered to their door.

Test kits

The Food and Drug Administration has authorised a handful of at-home Coronavirus testing kits.

PCR tests can detect inactive virus particles and might yield a positive test, resulting in some people being told to isolate when they are no longer capable of infecting anyone.

The prices and availability of testing kits in the US vary, though the ones offered by DoorDash range in price from $109 (£79) to $119 (£87) and may require a video call with medical personnel during the test.

Some insurance companies might reimburse the cost of at-home tests.

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Cody Godwin is part of the BBC Tech team based in San Francisco. For more news, follow her on Twitter at @MsCodyGodwin