CVS Health joined with other pharmacy chains and retailers at the White House yesterday, April 27, to announce the next phase in COVID-19 testing. In addition to the large-scale test sites the company has been operating since March, CVS Health will utilize its expansive community presence to bring testing closer to home while maintaining strict safety standards.
Beginning in May, CVS Health will offer self-swab tests to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Testing will be scheduled online and take place at select CVS Pharmacy locations in parking lots or at drive-thru windows; no testing will take place in-store. Employees participating in the test collection process will maintain safety using personal protective equipment and follow sanitization protocols after each test. The company expects to have up to 1,000 locations across the country offering this service by the end of May, with the goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.
CVS Health is also developing mobile solutions that will allow health care professionals to bring testing capabilities to underserved communities, and those same services can be utilized for businesses that will begin to re-open in the coming weeks and months.
CVS Health currently operates large-scale COVID-19 rapid test sites in five states, in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Rhode Island. Most of the parking lot sites can accommodate up to 1,000 tests per day, and sites are overseen by licensed health care providers from MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic inside CVS Pharmacy locations, with assistance from CVS pharmacists and other employees.
“Our industry has been united by the unique role we can play in addressing the pandemic and protecting people’s health,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Health. “We all share the same goal, and that’s dramatically increasing the frequency and efficiency of testing so we can slow the spread of the virus and start to responsibly reopen the economy when experts tell us it’s safe.”