Consumers will soon be able to obtain inexpensive coronavirus tests at stores including Amazon, Kroger, and Walmart, as part of President Joe Biden’s aim to significantly increase coronavirus testing. According to the Biden administration, those three significant stores will provide fast, over-the-counter COVID-19 testing “at cost” for the next three months, saving up to 35 percent off the normal retail price.
Biden’s proposal calls for almost $2 billion to be spent on 280 million rapid coronavirus tests to be given to long-term care facilities and community testing sites, as well as homeless shelters, prisons, and other vulnerable populations.
Cheap COVID Tests Will Be Available At Amazon, Kroger & Walmart
As part of the initiative, another 25 million free at-home rapid tests will be given to community health clinics and food banks. As the delta version drives demand higher and manufacturers struggle to keep up with the increasing demand, companies have stated that government help for extending testing options is needed.
Abbott Laboratories, Quidel, and Ellume’s rapid antigen tests have been available for purchase at major retailers for months. According to Intrivio/Access Bio, the firm plans to start selling rapid retail tests in the next weeks. In June, Abbott, which makes several versions of the Abbott BinaxNow rapid antigen test, cautioned investors, claiming “significantly decreased” demand for the tests.
Consequently, the firm closed a test manufacturing plant in Gurnee, Illinois, resulting in the loss of 2,000 employees. Abbott has said that it is once again concentrating on the development of new tests. On a regular basis, the kits were available at major retail outlets.
Illume CEO Sean Parsons said the firm is switching to a 24-hour production schedule to meet up with demand for testing at its Australian manufacturing facility. The company, which recently won a $231.8 million contract from the Defense Department to expand its operations in the United States, plans to open a factory in Maryland by the end of the year.
After devoting limited resources to vaccination efforts earlier this year, state authorities, according to Plescia, are once again increasing the testing options accessible to individuals. Consumers like rapid home testing because they make it easier for them to keep track of their health.
These tests, however, are more challenging to monitor, according to Plescia, since the results are not usually reported to state and municipal public health authorities.
Others worry that, despite Biden’s pledge to expand testing, the cost will continue to be a deterrent for others. While health insurance companies are required to cover the expenses of laboratory-based testing and some rapid antigen tests, people who buy tests from merchants may not be reimbursed.
“The tests within the United States are more expensive – this does result in testing being more difficult,” said Dr. Julie Swann, a North Carolina State University professor and health systems expert.
Swann points to the United Kingdom’s frequent screening of children as an example of a national testing program that has “substantially impacted reducing transmission.”The Biden plan would very likely require a wider variety of tests than the short tests available at retail shops.
The federal Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration will draught a rule requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to require immunizations or subject employees to weekly testing under specific circumstances.