Signs promote drive-thru coronavirus (COVID-19) testing at CVS Pharmacy on May 15, 2020 in Carver, … [+]
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new partnership with drugstore giant CVS Health designed to help double capacity in the state to test for the Coronavirus strain Covid-19.
In a briefing Sunday Cuomo said the state of New York has doubled testing capacity to reach 40,000 diagnostic tests per day as more states and the U.S. government work with retailers, including CVS Health that have health professionals and convenient real estate like parking lots to safely conduct the tests for Americans.
“Throughout this entire pandemic, testing was key to controlling the virus and now it will be key to monitoring the virus as we begin reopening in regions across the state,” Cuomo said Sunday in his announcement.
In the partnership with CVS, testing will come to more than 60 CVS pharmacies that will conduct 50 or more tests per day. The New York partnership comes within days of CVS announcement that it was going to dramatically ramp up testing by processing up to 1.5 million tests every month.
CVS Health is escalating its cross-country effort to expand testing for the Coronavirus strain COVID-19 with plans to open 1,000 locations by the end of the month, the drugstore chain said last week. At that time, CVS said it processes about 30,000 tests for COVID-19 a week in five states as part of a rollout that began several weeks ago with a focus on front-line healthcare workers and first responders.
The scale of the openings comes several weeks after CVS, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid, Walmart and other retailers pledged in White House meetings to use their thousands of locations, including parking lots to expand U.S. testing for COVID-19. In CVS Health’s case, the new sites will use “self-swab tests” as part of a newer phase of testing by the giant drugstore chain.
“New York has worked aggressively to build a massive statewide sample collection network and is now testing more than any state or country per capita, but our new problem is we have more sites and capacity than we’re actually using,” Cuomo said Sunday. “The more New Yorkers get tested, the better — and we are going to ensure to all individuals who will return to the workplace in phase one of our reopening plan have access to testing, and we are launching a new website to make it easier for New Yorkers to find nearby testing sites.”
In New York, Cuomo said New Yorkers can visit a new website coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-testing to find the nearest Covid-19 testing site. CVS Health also allows patients to register at CVS’ web site to get tested.
“Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly,” CVS said in its statement. “Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.”