CVS Health to ramp up COVID-19 testing

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CVS Health to ramp up COVID-19 testing

By Sandra Levy - 04/28/2020

CVS Health joined other pharmacy chains and retailers at the White House on Monday to announce the next phase of COVID-19 testing. 

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 the parking lots of select CVS Pharmacy locations or at drive-through windows. No testing will take place in store.

The company said it expects to have up to 1,000 locations across the country offering COVID-19 testing 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.

Employees participating in the test collection process will maintain safety, using personal protective equipment and following sanitization protocols after each test.

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, which can accommodate up to 1,000 tests per day, are overseen by licensed healthcare 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, CVS Health president and CEO. "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."

CVS Health has partnered with several organizations, including the National Medical Association, to improve access to testing and necessary care for historically underserved communities. CVS Health said it also is developing mobile solutions that will allow healthcare professionals to bring testing capabilities to these communities, and those same services can be utilized for businesses that will begin to reopen in the coming weeks and months.

"The selflessness displayed every day by the healthcare professionals at CVS Health and around the world is inspiring beyond words, and we owe them a debt of gratitude," Merlo said. "The same is true for front-line workers everywhere who continue to provide essential goods and services when we need them most."