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Costco selling COVID-19 saliva test kits

Costco is selling COVID-19 saliva test kits that can be used at home and don't involve the 'painful nasal swabs.'

WASHINGTON — Wholesale retailer Costco is selling coronavirus test kits.

Members can choose between two kit options and get their test results from AZOVA. The two kits offered by the retailer cost $129.99 or $139.99, which includes a video observation.

The PCR saliva kits can be used at home and don't involve the "painful nasal swabs," according to the description on Costco's website. The test results usually only take 24-48 hours once an AZOVA lab receives the kit.

AZOVA says the kits are Food and Drug Administration authorized and have been given Emergency Use Authorization.

"The at home COVID-19 Saliva test only needs a saliva sample and is highly accurate, with a sensitivity of 98% (meaning 98% of positive tests are correct) and a specificity of 99% (meaning 99% of negative tests are correct)," according to AZOVA.

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Costco added that the kits are eligible to be purchased with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Customers just need to register their kit with AZOVA after checkout for each person who is taking the test. 

"PCR tests are the gold standard testing method with the most accurate sensitivity and specificity currently on the market," Costco said.

The Washington-based company says the kits are only available to purchase online, and they currently aren't available in Pennsylvania, Nevada or Maryland.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 8.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University.

Just after 12:30 p.m. EDT Friday, the U.S. had more than 223,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 41 million confirmed cases with more than 1.1 million deaths.

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