Walgreens is set to make a big expansion to the number of drive-through testing locations it is offering consumers. The company on Monday said it would be adding locations in 49 states and Puerto Rico, with a focus on underserved communities — all enabled by an expanded relationship with LabCorp.
Walgreens said new testing locations would be determined in collaboration with the Trump administration, as well as federal health experts and state and local officials. The expectation is that the company will test more than 50,000 people each week. Additionally, over time, Walgreens said it would partner with companies to test employees in an effort to help businesses reopen in the coming weeks and months.
“We’re continuing to make steady progress on our efforts to expand COVID-19 testing, and are proud to join others in the industry to help bring more testing resources to communities across the U.S., with an immediate focus on underserved communities,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president. “This public-private partnership remains critical to keeping our communities healthy and enabling more Americans to return to work once they can do so safely. I’m truly grateful for our Walgreens pharmacists, who are playing a critical role in overseeing COVID-19 testing at these locations, while enabling us to serve as a much-needed and trusted point of access.”
Walgreens said that the tripling of its testing capacity is driven by its relationship with LabCorp, which is growing as the retailer plans to use LabCorp’s COVID-19 nasal swab diagnostic test. Additionally, LabCorp is offering antibody blood testing at more than 100 LabCorp at Walgreens locations, effective April 27. The blood test detects the presence of COVID-19 antibodies to help identify individuals who have been exposed to the virus.
“We are bringing the full force of LabCorp’s science and testing capabilities to serve individuals across the U.S. whether they had the virus or believe they have the virus,” said Adam Schechter, president and CEO of LabCorp. “We are proud to strengthen our existing partnership with Walgreens, and we stand with all Americans, healthcare workers, and those on the front lines who are helping people in need.”
So far, Walgreens has opened 18 COVID-19 testing sites across 11 states, with plans to have 23 sites in 15 states by the end of the week. The self-administered tests are overseen by Walgreens pharmacists. Testing is available by appointment only for those individuals who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eligibility criteria. Those who meet the criteria can receive the test at no cost.