April 8th 2020

The 15 locations are planned to be placed in select hot spot markets with escalating rates of COVID-19 cases. A

Walgreens has announced it is working on expanding drive-thru testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 7 states. The states included are Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas. The expansion is the next step in Walgreens’ collaboration efforts with the federal government, federal health agencies, and state and local authorities, according to the company.

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on March 31, 2020

that only 5 of 67,000 pharmacies in the United States had the capacity to test for COVID-19 through the Community-Based Testing Site Program. These testing locations included CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid pharmacy sites.

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Walgreens’ new testing sites will use Abbott’s new ID NOW COVID-19 test, which can deliver positive results in as little as 5 minutes and negative results within 13 minutes, according to a press release.

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The 15 locations are planned to be placed in select hot spot markets with escalating rates of COVID-19 cases. As the sites are finalized, Walgreens will dedicate temporary space at these locations outside of the stores where pharmacists can oversee the self-administration of the COVID-19 test. Patients will soon be directed to testing locations via an online assessment tool that will be available on the Walgreens website and mobile app.

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“We’re continuing to do everything we can, both with our own resources and also by partnering with others, to serve as an access point within the community for COVID-19 testing,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president, in a press release. “Opening our first drive-thru testing location last month has allowed us to quickly learn and develop an efficient and scalable process, and we’re pleased to be working with Abbott to help accelerate our efforts, and to enable quick results for those being tested.”

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Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the CDC, and patients will need to pre-register in advance in order to schedule an appointment for testing.

Walgreens response to the COVID-19 pandemic has also included theincreasing its drive-thru servicewith the addition of more than 60 front-end items available for pick up.

These products include cleaning supplies and sanitizers, certain over the counter (OTC) products, such as cough and cold medications, pain and fever medications, and immunity support; select grocery items, infant formula, adult nutrition products, medical and first aid supplies, and paper goods.

A version of this article was originally published by our sister publication Pharmacy Times atPharmacyTimes.com.

REFERENCES

  1. Walgreens expanding drive-thru testing to 15 new locations in seven states [news release]. Deerfield, Ill.; Walgreens website: April 7, 2020.https://news.walgreens.com/press-releases/general-news/walgreens-expanding-drive-thru-testing-to-15-new-locations-in-seven-states.htm. Accessed April 7, 2020.
  2. Murphy, Jill. HHS: only 5 U.S. pharmacies currently have capacity to test for COVID-19. Pharmacy Times.https://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/hhs-only-5-us-pharmacies-currently-have-capacity-to-test-for-covid-19. Published April 1, 2020. Accessed April 7, 2020.

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