Expanding Testing Capabilities to Include Self‑Swab Tests

New sites add to existing large scale rapid-testing locations
Man in red shirt and white mask in car at testing site
COMMENTARY
April 29, 2020

Our industry has been united by the unique role we can play in addressing the pandemic and protecting people's 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.

As part of this effort, 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.

CVS Health will utilize its expansive community presence to bring testing closer to home while maintaining strict safety standards.

Beginning in May, the company will offer self-swab tests to individuals who meet 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. We expect 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.

Our COVID-19 testing strategy is driven by science, but also by the reality that minorities have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Our COVID-19 testing strategy is driven by science, but also by the reality that minorities have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. We have partnered with several organizations, including the National Medical Association, to improve access to testing and necessary care for historically underserved communities. The company is also developing mobile solutions that will allow health care professionals to bring testing capabilities to these communities, and those same services can be utilized for businesses that will begin to re-open in the coming weeks and months.

Currently large-scale COVID-19 rapid test sites are operational in five states. These locations were opened in a matter of weeks through partnerships with the Department of Health and Human Services and governors 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.

The selflessness displayed every day by the health care professionals at CVS Health and around the world is inspiring beyond words, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. The same is true for frontline workers everywhere who continue to provide essential goods and services when we need them most.
Larry Merlo,
Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available on our PBM Partner Resource Center.
 

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COMMENTARY
April 29, 2020