Walgreens plans to begin drive-thru coronavirus testing in Arizona
PHOENIX – Pharmacy giant Walgreens said Tuesday it plans to begin drive-thru coronavirus testing with rapid results in Arizona.
The company said it’s working with federal authorities to finalize the location of 15 new test sites in seven states and aims to have them operating later this week.
The sites — which will be spread across Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas – will allow the pharmacy to conduct an additional 3,000 tests per day.
The company didn’t reveal the addresses or how many drive-thru test locations would be in each state.
Once the sites are operating, Walgreens will use an online assessment tool that will direct patients to a site for drive-thru testing. Appointments will have to be made in advance.
The service will be set up outside stores and use Abbott’s new ID NOW COVID-19 test, which can produce positive results as fast as five minutes and negative results within 13 minutes.
Walgreens rolled out its first drive-thru testing site in the Chicago area on March 21.
“Opening our first drive-thru testing location last month has allowed us to quickly learn and develop an efficient and scalable process, and we’re pleased to be working with Abbott to help accelerate our efforts, and to enable quick results for those being tested,” Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president, said in a press release.
For most people, coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
On Tuesday morning, the Arizona health department reported 2,575 positive tests for COVID-19, with the disease caused by the coronavirus responsible for 73 deaths in the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.