Hy-Vee pilots test-to-treat for COVID-19 and flu

The grocery chain is piloting the program at several pharmacy locations in Iowa.
A Hy-Vee storefront.
  • Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee is piloting a new test-to-treat program.
  • The program offers drive-up tests for flu and COVID-19.
  • If a person tests positive for either, a pharmacist will prescribe an antiviral medication.

Hy-Vee is piloting a new test-to-treat program for COVID-19 and flu at some of its pharmacy locations in Iowa. 

The grocery chain in a March 8 release said the pilot program was part of a collaboration with eTrueNorth, a health care services company that operates laboratory testing for pharmacies. Hy-Vee said it’s one of the first pharmacy chains in the state to offer the service. Testing is free and available to people over the age of 12. 

Here’s how it works, according to the release: 

  • Patients must first have symptoms of flu of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with the illnesses. 
  • Then, they can register online, where they’ll receive a test voucher number, testing site and appointment time. 
  • Tests for flu and COVID-19 are administered at outdoor, drive-thru sites.
  • Patients will get results in about 30 minutes. 
  • If a patient tests positive for either illness, a pharmacist will prescribe an antiviral prescription. 

“We are proud to introduce this new service as part of our commitment toward making health care more accessible and convenient for our patients,” said Aaron Wiese, president of Hy-Vee, in the release. “This pilot allows our pharmacists to practice at the top of their license and provide additional care and support for our patients and their families.”

The program is being piloted at nine Hy-Vee locations in several Iowa cities, including Ankeny, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Chariton, Council Bluffs, Fort Dodge, Mount Pleasant, Sioux City and Waukee. 

The employee-owned grocer operates more than 285 stores across eight Midwestern states, with locations in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

Hy-Vee in recent months has highlighted several health care initiatives, including 2,000 free Omega-3 index screenings it’s offering in the month of March, 1,000 free cholesterol screenings offered in February and free Vitamin D screenings in January.