A Texas-based company has raised some brows after it announced it would be rolling out an at-home coronavirus test but at a price that many find to be egregious given how many potential victims are out of work.
According to TIME, Monday, Everlywell — a company that offers lab tests directly to consumers for everything from vitamin deficiency and cholesterol levels to fertility and STDS—plans to offer an at-home testing kit for COVID-19.
This comes after weeks of delays from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has failed to get tests out in a timely fashion even after it been cited that asymptomatic carriers can still spread the virus.
In the United States, there have only been approximately 14,000 confirmed cases in large part due to the scarcity of tests.
On March 23rd, the Austin-based company will allow people to order the COVID-19 test on the company’s website. However, they will require them to answer questions about their basic health, symptoms and risk factors.
Doctors from PWNHealth – a telemedicine company – are on deck to review the symptoms and determine if the person qualifies for a test. If a doctor does prescribe the test as a reasonable next step, the company says it will send the $135 kit in two days (customers can pay $30 more to receive the kit overnight).
$135 for each test. COVID-19 capitalism. https://t.co/fjK7Lof08e
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) March 19, 2020
Included in the kit is a swab long enough to take samples from the back of the nose and throat area and instructions for how to seal the swab sample to send it back to the company. Hyper diligent consumers can also provide both spit and sputum samples as backups.
While this will undoubtedly provide peace of mind for those looking to get tested, many have pointed out that the price points are incredibly high for hourly workers who are already struggling to make ends meet in the midst of widespread shutdowns.
“No. Make them free, distribute them to those who cannot afford it, be better,” posted one user.
It’s also been noted that the company is only making 30,000 tests which unfortunately is only a small fraction of what’s needed.
Fucking America. Guess Trump was right everyone can get a test if they want on provided they have 135 dollars. Just once I wish we could be like every other developed country in the world. Why does everyone's life have a price tag? I'm disgusted. https://t.co/uxoKL6XFfd
— One Man Wolfpack (@RDubya1898) March 19, 2020