Finding locations that have at-home testing kits for Covid-19 on hand seems almost as possible as winning the lottery. Almost.

Moonshine Ink made the rounds to find out which spots around the Truckee/North Tahoe area carry tests, how many a person can buy at once, when restocks can be expected, and more. Both antigen and PCR options are available. Antigen tests provide results within 15 to 45 minutes and are designed to detect active Covid-19 infections; PCR tests, too, seek active infections, though take longer, likely several days, and are more sensitive in detecting the virus. As has been reported across the U.S., taking an antigen test during early phases of infection can result in a false negative for Covid-19.

P.S. The Biden administration has announced that free at-home Covid-19 tests are now available for any U.S. household. Limit is four tests per household and there is no shipping cost.

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~ Alex Hoeft

THE PLACE TO GO: The Village Pharmacy in Incline Village is, per Moonshine Ink’s photographer, the place to go to find take-home Covid-19 tests on the North Shore, based on available stock.

Testing locations (Information varies across locations, even those of the same company):

  • CVS (Truckee)
    • Where: 11411 Deerfield Dr, Truckee
    • Testing information: $24 for a BinaxNOW take-home two-pack; $40 for a single Ellume take-home kit; unspecified amount for QuickVue take-home two-pack
    • Limit: Four packs per person
    • Scheduled restock: Every Wednesday, amount of tests varies
  • Rite Aid (Truckee)
    • Where: 11230 Donner Pass Rd.
    • Testing information: $25 for a Rite Aid-brand take-home two-pack; $25 for a BinaxNOW take-home two-pack
    • Limit: Undetermined
    • Scheduled restock: No information provided
  • Safeway (Kings Beach)
    • Where: 7815 N Lake Blvd.
    • Testing information: BinaxNOW and QuickVue take-home two-packs available, pricing unavailable 
    • Limit: None
    • Scheduled restock: Staff at this location has ordered thousands of tests with no knowledge of when kits will arrive. There’ve been no tests available since Christmas.
  • Safeway (Truckee)
    • Where: 11290 Donner Pass Rd.
    • Testing information: $20 for a take-home two-pack (brand varies)
    • Limit: Two packs per person
    • Scheduled restock: Rarely; staff suggests going to CVS
  • Tahoe Forest Health System (Truckee)
    • Tahoe Forest Pharmacy: 10956 Donner Pass Rd., #100
      • Test kit info: BinaxNOW take-home two-pack and prescription options (pricing unavailable). Staff suggests trying emed.com to purchase a six-pack of BinaxNOW for $150.
      • Limit: One pack per person
    • ​​For asymptomatic Covid-19 testing: Use the free testing site available by an independent company at the Old Gateway Center, 10990 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee. Pre-registration is required and can be done at lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling (888) 634-1123. PCR tests are used at this location.
    • For symptomatic Covid-19 testing: If you are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, or diarrhea, please call the TFHS Covid-19 Hotline at (530) 582-3450, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. Regarding test types used in this situation, “if someone is referred to the respiratory clinic due to their symptoms, multiple types of tests are used depending upon medical factors,” shared Paige Thomason of TFHS.
  • Tahoe Truckee Unified School District 
    • For asymptomatic students and staff. Antigen tests are used at both of the locations below.
    • Where (Truckee): TTUSD’s district office, 11603 Donner Pass Rd., in the modular in the back parking lot, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday
    • Where (Tahoe City): Rideout Community Center, 720 Timberland Ln., just outside of Tahoe City, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Village Pharmacy (Incline Village)
    • Where: 898 Tanager St.
    • Testing information: $55 for a single Flowflex antigen take-home test; $200 for an on-site PCR test (good for travel; one to two hours for results). As of publication, there are numerous take-home kits available in the store, and PCR tests are given on a walk-in basis.
    • Limit: None
    • Scheduled restock: “Last supply for a while,” according to pharmacy staff.

Locations without testing available:

  • Raley’s O-N-E Market, 10001 Soaring Way, Truckee
  • Raley’s Incline Village, 930 Tahoe Blvd., Incline Village
RED ARROW: The Rite Aid on Donner Pass Road did not have any testing options when Moonshine’s photographer visited, nor information about when they would be restocked.
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