Walgreens to expand COVID-19 test using Abbott test kits
Walgreens announced Tuesday is plans to use Abbott Laboratories' new fast response COVID-19 test to expand drive-through testing for the virus to 15 new sites in seven states, including Illinois.
Specific locations are still being determined, company officials said in a statement, as the Deerfield-based drugstore chain is works with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to pinpoint select hot spot markets where COVID-19 cases are still in the increase. Walgreens said it plans to test up to 3,000 people per day at the 15 sites, and expect to begin later this week.
"Opening our first drive-through 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," Walgreens President Richard Ashworth said in the company's statement.
The company will dedicate temporary space outside the stores, where Walgreens pharmacists will oversee self-administration of the COVID-19 test. Patients will be directed to testing locations via an online assessment tool that will be available on Walgreens.com and Walgreens mobile app.
Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients will need to preregister in advance in order to schedule an appointment for testing.
In addition to Illinois, testing sites will be located in Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, officials said.
North Chicago-based Abbott received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval March 27 to distribute its new rapid COVID-19 test, which is based on its portable ID Now test device and can deliver results in five to 13 minutes. The company on April 1 began producing up to 50,000 test daily in order to meet demand.