CVS is rolling out its first testing sites for Coronavirus in parking lots
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
CVS Health is opening up its first testing site in a Massachusetts drugstore parking lot as drugstores across the country slowly and carefully begin a rollout of testing outside their stores for the Coronavirus strain COVID-19.
The site is considered a test of sorts but good news given the slow response to testing for the virus in the U.S. compared to other countries. And it’s also a sign retail drugstores are holding to their commitment to quickly ramp up testing in parking lots and other areas outside their stores following a White House meeting last week.
“We’re opening a COVID-19 testing site for a limited population in the parking lot of a CVS Pharmacy in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts,” CVS said in its announcement Thursday afternoon.
“It’s important to understand that this is our first site, which means there will likely be issues that arise,” CVS said of the location. “Those issues will be addressed immediately and inform the opening of other sites – in CVS Pharmacy parking lots and elsewhere. The goal is to serve as a model for testing.”
CVS, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Walmart, Target and Rite Aid last week pledged in a White House meeting to aid the federal government and local health officials in providing access to COVID-19 testing. Other retailers with pharmacies are expected to soon begin rolling out their sites as well.
But CVS is urging caution with its first site and exactly who will be tested, saying the site “does not, and will not administer tests on a walk-up or drive-up basis.”
“Testing will initially focus on a critical population: first responders and health care workers,” CVS said. “State officials have identified a group of brave women and men who are on the frontlines of the pandemic and have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. The sooner they are tested, the sooner they can continue to help others, in particular the most vulnerable members of our communities.”