CVS Health Wednesday announced plans to immediately expand COVID-19 testing services currently offered at select CVS Pharmacy locations in the Southland and elsewhere to include rapid-result testing at nearly 1,000 sites by the end of the year.
Rapid-result COVID-19 diagnostic tests are available at no cost to patients who meet U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, CVS officials said. In addition, rapid-result tests may also be available as a testing option for eligible employees or students affiliated with an organization that has adopted CVS Health’s Return Ready return-to-work COVID-19 testing solutions.
CVS Health has administered more than 5 million COVID-19 tests since March, and currently manages more than 4,000 drive-thru test sites at CVS Pharmacy locations in Southern California and elsewhere.
Most results from the existing test sites are generally available within two to three days. The company is adapting some of these sites and adding new locations to be able to deliver rapid results at nearly 1,000 sites by the end of the year. Nearly 100 of the rapid-result test sites — including Southern California locations — will be operational this week, according to CVS officials.
“Access to rapid-result tests enables us to help minimize community spread of COVID-19 by being able to more quickly identify active COVID-19 infection,” said Dr. David Fairchild, chief medical officer, MinuteClinic. “In addition, we can test and treat symptomatic patients who test negative for COVID-19 for seasonal illnesses such as flu or strep and provide appropriate treatment and care.”
Patients must register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. For patients ages 12 to 17, a parent or legal guardian must complete the online registration and must accompany minors ages 15 and younger for testing.
When arriving for testing, patients are asked to follow signage or the instructions of the staff onsite. Procedures vary by location and patients may be directed to stay in their vehicle and proceed to a designated testing structure located in the parking lot or, in very limited locations, to enter a CVS store through a doorway specifically allocated for this purpose.
For rapid testing, patients will be provided with a test kit, given instructions, and a CVS Health team member will observe the self-swab process. Patients will be directed to wait outside the store in their vehicle for results. The process, from the collection of the swab to the delivery of the results, will generally take roughly 30 minutes.
Those seeking a COVID-19 test at a CVS Pharmacy can find a complete list of locations and options at cvshealth.com/covid-19/testing-locations .
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