CVS Health Expands Testing Capabilities Amid Rise in COVID-19 Cases


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - CVS Health announced today it is expanding its COVID-19 no-cost testing program by adding 35 more test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thrus across California, including four locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties, amid a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The opening of additional test sites on Friday adds to the 107 locations previously opened statewide, many of them in Southern California.

The nearly 200 additional test sites opening across the country this week are among the more than 1,400 locations CVS Health has opened since May and expand the company's testing capacity to more than 1.5 million tests per month, subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity, according to President and CEO Larry J. Merlo.

In addition to the drive-thru sites, CVS Health has partnered with community organizations to open eight rapid-response community testing sites across the country, including a mobile site together with Medical Mission Adventures, which will be providing testing in Arleta, Sylmar and San Fernando to increase access to testing for uninsured and underserved populations at highest risk for COVID-19, Merlo said.

Nearly 60% of the company's 1,400 test sites across the country, including 81% of sites in California, are in counties that serve communities with the greatest need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Social Vulnerability Index.

The index tracks a variety of census variables, including poverty, lack of access to transportation and crowded housing that may weaken a community's ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines.

Patients must register online in advance to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot at a few stores, 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.

Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in about three days.

Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

The additional new testing sites in Los Angeles and Orange counties are located at the following CVS pharmacies:

-- 1676 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim;

-- 3208 E. Florence Ave., Huntington Park;

-- 4345 W. Century Blvd., Inglewood; and

-- 5030 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach.

To find a testing site and make an appointment, go to https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.

Photo: Getty Images


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