Here's How The Sam's Club COVID-19 Tests Work

Next time you drop by Sam's Club for gifts, a ham and sides for your Christmas table, or just a mega-pack of toilet paper, you may be able to add a little peace of mind to your cart as well. Sam's Club and Walmart just announced that they're making at-home COVID-19 test kits available to customers (via Fox Business). The superstore chains were among the first to offer on-site testing for the coronavirus at their pharmacies and parking lots, which drew tens of thousands of people in the first month alone (per The News & Observer). "Throughout the pandemic, Walmart and Sam's Club have focused on providing options to customers and members so they can shop in the way best for them," announced Lori Flees, SVP and COO of Walmart Health & Wellness, in a press release. "Now, we're applying that same lens to how we can provide access to COVID-19 testing to as many people as possible in ways that best align with their needs."

This new testing option is even more convenient, since you don't even have to leave your house. Everything is done online and by mail, making it even safer than sitting in an urgent care waiting room or sitting in your car at a drive-through testing center.

COVID-19 testing is easy, but not cheap

As the press release explains, the tests are available through and At checkout, a coupon code is emailed to the customer, along with a health screening survey and instructions on creating an account on the website of the testing company, MyLAB Box. Once everything is in order, the test is mailed. 

The home tests are available in several variations: a COVID-only nasal swab test, a COVID saliva test, and a combination COVID and flu nasal test. All come with options for standard or express shipping. "These test collection kits can provide outcomes within as little as 24 to 48 hours after the test collection kit has been received at the lab," the press release continues. "Some test collection kits even come with a telehealth call if a positive result occurs."

The company warns that this test shouldn't be used by people who are already experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain. And while they don't say so directly, it should go without saying that this isn't meant to be used as a golden ticket to go to large family gatherings over the holidays, which could lead to a January spike in cases.

Depending on the specific test and shipping method, they cost between $99 and $135.