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Quest Diagnostics to Sell Covid-Test Kits Online

Quest Diagnostics will sell covid-test kits online directly to consumers.

Quest Diagnostics  (DGX) - Get Free Report on Thursday started selling a covid-19 test online to make testing directly accessible to people who have coronavirus-like symptoms or were exposed to someone with the disease.

This test has emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

People can purchase the coronavirus-test kits online and send them to Quest for assessment via FedEx or drop them at Walmart  (WMT) - Get Free Report drive-through pharmacies, the Secaucus, N.J., diagnostic-testing-services company said. 

Online orders will be reviewed by physicians in Quest's network.

The U.S. is the country hardest-hit by covid-19, with more than 6.6 million confirmed cases and 196,842 deaths. according to data from Johns Hopkins.

"Accessible, high-quality covid-19 diagnostic testing is essential to containing the spread" of the disease, Jay Wohlgemuth, a physician who is senior vice president and chief medical officer at Quest Diagnostics, said in a statement. 

QuestDirect since April has had a covid-19 antibody test available online.

The test kit includes a device for nasal-swab collection, which Quest said was comparatively less non-invasive.

Quest Diagnostics says on its website that its average turnaround time for covid test results is two days. It now has capacity to do as many as 200,000 tests a day.

In August the company had cut its turnaround time from an average of two to three days. In July the average was seven days.

Its capacity for testing results in August was 150,000 a day. 

At last check Quest shares were off 2.3% at $111.90. The shares were up 7.3% in 2020 through the close of trading Wednesday.