Walgreens expanding drive-through COVID-19 testing
Walgreens Boots Alliance is expanding its COVID-19 drive-through testing capabilities beyond Chicago and will use Abbott Laboratories' fast-results test at its sites.
Last month, Walgreens selected Chicago as its first testing location, primarily for health care and other vulnerable front-line workers. That site, in southwest suburban Bolingbrook, has been doing 150 tests a day.
Now the program is expanding to Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas and the entire state of Illinois. Walgreens is targeting areas heavily affected by the pandemic and hopes to ramp up testing to 3,000 people per day. Specific locations are being finalized in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Walgreens plans to start testing this week at the new sites.
"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," Walgreens President Richard Ashworth said in a company statement.
The rapid-testing kit from North Chicago-based Abbott, called ID NOW, gives a positive COVID-19 result within five minutes and a negative result within 13 minutes. Testing will be overseen by Walgreens pharmacists and will be free to eligible people who meet the criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control.
Dalton Barker reports for Crain's Chicago Business