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Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests now available

Experts say we still have a way to go to end the pandemic, but now we have a little more ammo on our side, following FDA approval of certain over-the-counter tests.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — First, we could get COVID-19 tests at the doctor's office, then at the pharmacy, and then we could even mail them in.

"No, it's not uncomfortable at all. I would encourage anyone to get it," said Philip Jewel, Sr. of Roaring Brook Township.

"It was the worst experience I've ever had," said Christopher McGurrin of Scranton. "It's about this big, and they stick it all the way down your nose."

Ivelisse Rivera-Wong of Scranton did a couple of mail-in COVID-19 tests and said it was very easy.

"It gives you instructions step by step, pictures, in case you can't read. And then it's done in two minutes."

And she says she got accurate results back in two days.

People we talked to say their health insurance covered the costs.

That may be the big difference when it comes to the newest COVID test option—buying them over the counter.

CVS sent us info on its three options of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests now available, one as cheap as two tests for $23.99 (BinaxNOW), and one, according to the CVS website, for as much as $119.99, used by doctors across the U.S.

Walmart offers the same tests that CVS does, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen self-tests for about $4 less than CVS at just under $20.

CVS and Walmart say their over-the-counter options are not covered by insurance.

Abbott, the company that makes the BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid antigen Self Test, says in addition to being available at CVS and Walmart, it is also available at Walgreens. Newswatch 16 reached out to Walgreens as well but never heard back

At Gerrity's, the owner tells us he's still looking into bringing the tests into his stores, and once he's able to source them, he would like to sell them.

But no matter how you get the test, people we spoke to said it's important to get tested and vaccinated.

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