Hy-Vee pharmacists and technicians who take part in the company’s rapid antigen COVID-19 testing will be offered an additional bonus for participating in the public health program. Full-time pharmacists who administer the tests will receive a $500 bonus and part-time pharmacists and technicians who administer the test will receive a $250 bonus.
Hy-Vee said these bonuses are in addition to the $23.3 million in front-line employee appreciation bonuses that the company has paid out to all retail employees to date, as well as the company’s upcoming 10% employee bonus on all hours worked from Dec. 21 through Jan. 10, 2021.
In addition to bonuses, Hy-Vee also offers protected leave for its employees, including its pharmacists and technicians, who either test positive for COVID-19 and/or are required by health officials to self-quarantine. This benefit provides job protection for a minimum of two weeks and applies to all employees, no matter their length of service. Additionally, Hy-Vee employees enrolled in the company’s short-term disability benefit will receive a minimum of two weeks of paid time off.
All full-time employees also have access to free telehealth services, which includes mental health. The company will pay 100% of the costs for all full-time employees and their dependents who utilize the virtual 24-hour medical service.
This year, all Hy-Vee employees also started receiving a minimum 10% discount on their groceries every day as the company strives to be the best place to work in America.
In an effort to keep Hy-Vee’s pharmacists and technicians safe and comfortable, while performing COVID-19 testing, all personal protective equipment and scrubs, as well as additional uniform clothing for various weather scenarios, will be provided for employees to wear during their time at a heated, drive-up facility separate from the Hy-Vee store.
“Between testing and vaccine administration, Hy-Vee’s pharmacists and technicians are vital in the fight against this pandemic,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president. “We are very much aware of the sacrifices every essential worker, especially those administering COVID-19 tests, must make as they go to work every day. We want to do everything we can to ensure their safety and well-being in addition to showing our appreciation for the role they play in this public health crisis.”
The company currently has 47 Hy-Vee pharmacy locations that offer or will soon offer rapid antigen testing via an outdoor, drive-thru testing process. Patients receive same-day test results in as little as one to two hours after completing the nasopharyngeal swab test.
The rapid antigen testing is in addition to Hy-Vee’s free COVID-19 lab testing, or molecular PCR, which is patient-administered but observed by Hy-Vee pharmacists for appropriate technique. This test is offered outside more than 180 pharmacy locations in coordination with eTrueNorth and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Results for the lab testing associated with this test are usually available in three to five business days.
Hy-Vee is currently searching for more than 1,000 pharmacy technicians to assist with testing and COVID-19 vaccine administration, once it becomes available. Those interested are encouraged to apply here.