DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens announced on Thursday the availability of the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test administered by eMed, a digital point-of-care company, in select locations in New York City and New Jersey to meet international travel requirements for travelers returning to the U.S.
The rapid antigen test kits meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirement that international travelers test negative for COVID-19 before returning to the U.S. The test meets the CDC’s guidance due to the unique digital proctor experience through eMed, which provides observed sample collection, testing and digitally verified test results.
“We commend eMed for offering a worry-free solution to meet the COVID-19 testing needs of U.S. travelers abroad,” said Justin Coyle, senior director of development operations, Walgreens. “Increasing access to COVID-19 testing when, where and how patients need it is a priority for Walgreens. Offering the BinaxNOW Home Test for pick-up at select pharmacies provides travelers with another convenient option to put their minds at ease about securing the at-home test before they travel.”
“International airline travelers need a reliable, trustworthy test platform and a worry-free level of convenience” said Dr. Patrice Harris, eMed co-founder and CEO. “By picking up an affordable eMed-guided COVID-19 test from Walgreens before departing the U.S., passengers can ensure they will have access to a 15-minute, home-administered test that provides an immediate certified digital test result. This quick and easily accessible innovation, ultimately, will help reconnect the globe through safer travel measures.”
Once purchased, travelers will take the unopened, unused test kit with them in a carry-on bag. Prior to returning to the U.S. – no more than three days and at least one day prior to the departure date – the traveler will log into eMed on a smart device, laptop or desktop computer with a webcam, where a live eMed Certified Guide will monitor the sample collection, testing process and certified results reporting. When taking the test, the traveler should plan to be in a quiet area with a clean, flat surface and have a reliable broadband internet connection.
If the test result is negative, the individual traveler receives a temporary digital health certificate – similar to a mobile airline boarding pass – in their NAVICA app used in tandem with the Home Test. Travelers will use the app at the airport before their departure to show proof of their negative test and check-in for their flight.
Throughout the pandemic, Walgreens has made COVID-19 testing accessible across the country in over 6,000 drive-thru testing locations in addition to a variety of over-the-counter take home COVID-19 testing options.
The BinaxNOW Home Test kit administered by eMed is available in select pharmacies for $34.99. Abbott’s recently authorized BinaxNOW Self Test for over-the-counter purchase is not eligible for travel purposes.