(RTTNews) - Walgreens is expanding drive-thru testing for the coronavirus to fifteen new locations in seven states across the U.S. later this week. They include Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.
The drive-thru locations are part of Walgreens' collaboration with the administration, federal health agencies, and state and local authorities to expand access to COVID-19 testing.
Walgreens is finalizing the locations in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or HHS. The locations are planned for select hotspot markets in the U.S. that are witnessing escalating rates of COVID-19 cases.
The new sites will use Abbott's new ID NOW COVID-19 test, which delivers positive results in just five minutes and negative results within 13 minutes.
Abbott's new test recently received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of COVID-19.
Walgreens plans to be able to test up to 3,000 people per day across these new sites.
The company will dedicate temporary space at select locations outside of the stores, where Walgreens pharmacists will oversee the self-administration of the COVID-19 test.
The patients will be directed to testing locations via an online assessment tool that will be available on Walgreens website and mobile app.
Testing will be free for people who meet the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC. Patients will need to pre-register in advance in order to schedule an appointment for testing.
After a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and major U.S. health-care companies as well as retailers in mid-March, four companies will be hosting drive-thru testing for coronavirus in their parking lots. The four companies are Walgreens, Walmart, Target and CVS Health.
Walgreens activated its first drive-thru testing site in the Chicago area on March 21.
Testing at this site is initially available to first responders and health care workers, while the most vulnerable citizens, including those aged over 65, will later be directed to this location. The testing is not available to the general public.
CVS Health said Monday that it has opened rapid COVID-19 drive-through testing sites in Georgia and Rhode Island.