CVS Health Corp., the U.S. drugstore chain, said it will open testing sites at 1,000 of its retail stores.
"Our industry has been united by the unique role we can play in addressing the pandemic and protecting people's health," said Larry J. 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."
Beginning this month, 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 process up to 1.5 million tests per month subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.
CVS Health currently operates large-scale COVID-19 rapid test sites in five states, which 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, CVS said, 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.