Meanwhile in New York: You Can Now Get COVID Test From Vending Machines (If Only STDs Were This Easy)

Vending machines have traditionally been dispensers of all our favorite vices and guilty pleasures, whether that’s peanut M&Ms, sour cream and onion chips, or sugary sodas. But finally, for once, vending machines are actually dispensing something useful: at-home COVID tests.

These miraculous machines are courtesy of health company Wellness 4 Humanity, and they’re only currently available in New York. For $149 (payable by credit or debit cards only), you can get a PCR saliva test. You produce a sample, then use a pre-printed label to send it via FedEx to one of the company’s partner labs. It’s kind of like 23andMe, except with this saliva test, you get your results in a mere 48 hours and don’t find relatives you never wanted to know about.

Saliva COVID tests are quick and reliable. Research has shown they’re equally as accurate as a nasal swab. Getting one from a vending machine, however, saves you from having to sit in line or schedule an appointment at a testing site.

Wellness 4 Humanity plans to bring the innovative vending machines to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas soon. The Oakland International Airport and the University of California in San Diego also currently have similar machines.

“It’s odd that this is our life now: Vending machines are not for fun things, but [for] something as scary as a PCR COVID test,” said Lauren Folland, a 24-year-old New Yorker who spoke to the New York Post about buying a test. “The function makes sense, but it’s also like, ‘Wow this is what you’re living in right now.’”

We can only hope the trend of medical testing vending machines catches on. Wouldn’t it be great to have STI testing available this easily? We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to get back to having one-night stands as soon as quarantine is over…

Cover Photo: Wellness 4 Humanity

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