Philadelphians with EBT cards can get a rapid at-home COVID-19 test for no cost at Walgreens locations throughout the city, via a new pilot between the retailer and Abbott. Through July 4, people with a Pennsylvania EBT card can receive enough supply of the Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test to test every member of their family within the FDA’s testing guidelines.
Customers can request the tests at the pharmacy counter, and EBT cardholders can receive two test packs of two per family member per week. This will allow every member of the cardholder’s family to test themselves twice over three days, with at least 36 hours between tests.
"Walgreens remains diligent in advocating for increased access to COVID-19 testing. We continue to listen to the needs of our communities, and this tailored pilot program aims to increase access for our customers and patients in the fight against COVID-19," said Mike Umbleby, divisional vice president of clinical performance at Walgreens. "We want people to have peace of mind and comfort as they make decisions on how to resume activities while we make our way through the pandemic. We're proud to test this pilot in the city of Philadelphia, as well as continuing to offer a suite of services like free drive-thru testing at 6,000 locations and expanded OTC testing options for people who are asymptomatic and unable to make an appointment, or need a quick result from home."
The companies said the pilot is focused on making testing more accessible to underserved communities, helping address outbreaks in communities.
"We have made enormous strides with COVID-19 testing over the past year and today rapid self-testing is broadly available," said Andrea Wainer, executive vice president of rapid and molecular diagnostics at Abbott. "Through this pilot, we hope to take learnings and share them with governments and health authorities to ensure that more people have access to rapid testing, so we can return to the daily interactions we've missed."
The 30-day pilot will have logistical and operational components analyzed by Walgreens and Abbott, with learnings to be shared with local, state and federal officials, as well as with community organizations and nongovernmental organizations.
Throughout the pandemic, Walgreens has worked to expand test availability, including via drive-thru testing sites and making self-testing more accessible. The retailer recently rolled out a solution for international travelers, partnering with eMed to provide an at-home test that can be supervised by a healthcare professional, thus meeting travel standards for international travelers returning to the United States.