CVS Health Sets Huge COVID-19 Testing Goal
CVS Health continues to deliver on a promise made in April to expand COVID-19 testing capabilities and now provides the service at 1,000 stores.
CVS Health will open additional COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations on Friday, May 29 to establish a total of 1,000 sites across more than 30 states and Washington, DC.
"It's no small feat to operationalize 1,000 test sites in weeks under trying circumstances, which is a credit to our employees and their unwavering commitment to being part of the solution," said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Health. "Our testing strategy will continue to evolve and make the most effective use of our resources as we work to help safely re-open the economy."
The company said it has performed nearly 200,000 tests since first offering COVID-19 testing at a pilot site outside a CVS Pharmacy in Shrewsbury, Mass. Beginning in June, CVS Health has a goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.
More than half of the company's 1,000 test sites will serve communities with the greatest need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index. The index tracks a variety of census variables including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that may weaken a community's ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks, according to CVS Health.
"Through our network of physicians, including our state and local associations/societies, we have been encouraging community members to use the hundreds of COVID-19 testing sites that CVS Health has established across the country, and have been providing information on how to slow the spread of the virus," said Dr. Oliver T. Brooks, President of the National Medical Association. "We will continue to work together to increase access to COVID-19 testing, particularly to underserved communities that are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic."
Self-swab tests at participating CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations will be available to individuals meeting CDC and state criteria who register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. Testing will not take place inside any CVS Pharmacy, MinuteClinic or HealthHUB locations, which remain open to serve customers and patients. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.