Lenexa lab creates saliva-based COVID-19 test you can use at home

Clinical Reference Laboratory Inc. and Walgreens announced on Wednesday that the CRL Rapid Response COVID-19 Saliva Test is now available through the pharmacy chain company’s digital health platform, Walgreens Find Care. Tests cost $119 per kit. Above, lab employees handle COVID-19 testing samples. Photo courtesy Clinical Reference Laboratory Inc.

You may soon be able to test yourself for COVID-19 at home, thanks to a Lenexa lab, which has partnered with Walgreens to offer the pharmacy chain’s first at-home, saliva-based COVID-19 test.

Lenexa-based Clinical Reference Laboratory Inc. and national pharmacy chain Walgreens announced this week that the CRL Rapid Response COVID-19 Saliva Test is now available through Walgreens’ digital health platform, Walgreens Find Care.

The tests currently cost $119 per kit.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized CRL’s Rapid Response COVID-19 Saliva Test for emergency use by Clinical Reference Laboratory, according to the organization.

The lab reported that the saliva test is “non-invasive and highly accurate,” and offers a convenient option for people wishing to self-administer the test at home.

“Testing continues to be a critical tool to keep Americans safe even as the vaccine rolls out,” said Robert Thompson, chief executive officer at Clinical Reference Laboratory.

He said the at-home test “demonstrated highly accurate results with 100% sensitivity and specificity” in FDA-supervised trials.

“Our goal is to make the test as accessible and convenient as possible to encourage consistent, widespread testing,” he said.

The test kits are available to order through Walgreens Find Care. Individuals must meet one or more clinical guidelines, and they can fill out a questionnaire when making an order for a test.

Once the test kit arrives, individuals can register the test online, deposit a sample of their saliva in the provided collection vial and then drop the sample off using a prepaid priority overnight shipping package at a FedEx location.

Results will typically be available within 24-48 hours of receipt at the lab through a secure portal, and are also delivered directly to individuals’ mobile phone via text or landline by voice message.

Anyone who tests positive should receive contact from a telemedicine provider who will discuss next steps, including an option to speak to a physician.

Walgreens also offers COVID-19 testing at 3,500 drive-thru locations across the country.