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COVID-19 tests vending machines
Photograph: Courtesy Wellness 4 Humanity

COVID-19 test kit vending machines are popping up across the country

This is the future.

By
Anna Ben Yehuda
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Our new normal is clearly defined by perennial mask wearing, at-home workouts, loungewear galore, Zoom meetings and the constant need to test for COVID-19. The last part of that equation has suddenly become a bit easier given the presence of test kit vending machines in parts of the country.

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First popping up in midtown Manhattan and now found at Oakland International Airport in California, the vending machines are the product of Wellness 4 Humanity, a group of science- and medical-focused social entrepreneurs.

The kiosks are filled with at-home saliva RT-PCR tests, which must be sent to a partner lab using a pre-paid FedEx shipping label before receiving results within 48 hours at 99% accuracy. The cost? Between $130-$150, with the possibility of being reimbursed by health insurance providers.

To purchase a test, you'll first have to pay online at W4Humanity.com. You'll then be emailed a QR code to scan at the kiosk.

Oakland International Airport is officially the first one in the U.S. to sell these tests in vending machines, but the company has announced its intention to expand the program to other major cities the likes of Boston and Dallas in the near future.

As the vaccine rollout process stalls and attempts to find its footing, we can now rest assured that the scarcity of tests that we had to deal with just a few months back is no longer an issue. Here's to hoping vaccinations find their way as well.

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