At-home COVID-19 test now available at some local grocery stores

Posted at 5:27 PM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 01:32:12-04

There's a new test to find out if you have COVID-19.

The at-home COVID-19 test kit is now available at 10 different Vons and Albertsons locations on the Central Coast.

No appointment is needed, there's no line and no more uncomfortable nasal swab.

"What this is, is an alternative way to test using the saliva," said Chi Nguyen, Albertsons/Vons Patient Care Pharmacist.

Nguyen says the steps to get a test kit are easy.

First, fill out a short online questionnaire at

It'll be reviewed by a local Vons or Albertsons pharmacist.

From there, pick up the kit at the store or if symptomatic, home delivery is another option.

The sample you take can be sent back to the lab with the kit's next-day shipping envelope.

"You should get results back within 48 to 72 hours once they receive your result," Nguyen said.

The testing kit is FDA-approved for emergency use.

"The accuracy rate is about 98%," Nguyen said.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg recommends the new testing.

"The test that is actually ran at the lab is actually identical to the test that would be using a different swab technique," Dr. Ansorg explained.

This form of testing is accepted when proving COVID-19 results for travel or work.

"You can actually order it in advance and not necessarily have to do it that day," Nguyen said. "You can use it later down the line if you choose to, especially for those that may be traveling."

More than 1,000 tests have been purchased so far.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is also eyeing its use in the future.

"I think we will see more and more of these saliva tests," Dr. Ansorg said.

The kit costs $139.99.

While the company is not able to bill insurance, you can submit the receipt to your insurance for possible reimbursement.

The following Central Coast locations are selling the kits:

  • Albertsons, 1018 Casitas Pass Rd., Carpinteria
  • Vons, 729 North H Street, Lompoc
  • Albertsons, 1500 North H Street, Lompoc
  • Vons, 1040 Coast Village Road, Montecito
  • Albertsons, 1120 East Clark Avenue, Orcutt
  • Albertsons, 2320 South Broadway, Santa Maria
  • Vons, 1758 Grand Avenue, Grover Beach
  • Vons, 520 West Tefft Street, Nipomo
  • Albertsons, 189 Niblick Road, Paso Robles
  • Vons, 3900 Broad Street, San Luis Obispo