The company announced on Saturday the opening of new sites on April 20 in New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Ohio, through its partnership with the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
The pharmacy chain began piloting its first Covid-19 test site in Philadelphia on March 22. Since then, Rite Aid has added a total of 12 test sites. The company says it plans to open more locations in Delaware, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia in the near future.
Each driving location is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and uses self-buffered nasal tests supervised by Rite Aid pharmacists. The tests are administered in the shops’ parking lots and oblige all participants to stay in their vehicle. Rite Aid says it plans to run around 200 tests per day per location.
Patients must pre-register, answer screening questions, and schedule an appointment on the Rite Aid website before traveling to the test. The test is available at no cost to eligible candidates who meet the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the company says.
“We are really trying to make sure that patients are informed of what will happen when they arrive, and then once there we are there to help,” said company spokesperson Christopher Savarese.
The Covid-19 laboratory tests for all driving locations will be performed by BioReference Laboratories and PWNHealth, a national network of clinicians that provides safe and easy access to diagnostic tests, will provide clinical monitoring of the testing program.
Screening tests, planning and patient outcomes will be made easier through a partnership with Verily’s Project Baseline. Verily is a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The testing website says the tests are “not for people with severe symptoms,” including severe cough, shortness of breath, severe fever, or other symptoms that may require immediate medical attention.
In the United States alone, more than 716,000 cases of Covid-19 and 37,650 deaths have been reported, according to data from John Hopkins University.