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CVS Rapid-Result Tests: Q&A

CVS Health will offer rapid-result COVID-19 testing at almost 1,000 of their pharmacies by the end of 2020, according a recent news release.

The rapid-result tests are available free to anyone who meets the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.

Faster identification of COVID-19 cases will help reduce the spread of the virus and give people quicker access to treatment for other viral illnesses, like flu and strep, reported CVS Health.

When Can I Get A Rapid-Result Test?

Some rapid-result test sites will be available this week. The remaining rapid test sites will roll out by the end of the year. You can find a list of testing sites here.

Who Can Get Tested?

The CDC criteria for testing include people who have COVID-19 symptoms and people who have been exposed to someone with the virus — defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes total — and people who were told by their doctor to get tested.

How Do I Register for a Test?

Visit the CVS COVID-19 testing page and follow the prompts.

What Happens at the Testing Site?

There will be signs or staff at the pharmacy to direct you and give you instructions. Once the specimen is collected, you’ll be asked to wait in your car for the results, which takes about 30 minutes.

What Do I Do If the Test is Negative?

If the test is negative, you’ll be given the option of scheduling an appointment with a provider in the CVS MinuteClinic. The MinuteClinic provider can do an assessment and decide if a test for the flu or strep is needed, as well as provide any further treatment or referrals as needed.

What Do I Do If the Test is Positive?

“In all cases, patients will receive a packet of information on next steps to follow when the test results are available to them. We comply with all state and federal reporting requirements,” wrote Joe Goode, senior director of corporate communications for CVS Health, in an email to Medical Daily.

Can I Get Tested Anywhere Else?

Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid offer free COVID-19 testing. However, these aren’t 30-minute, rapid-result tests. You’ll wait at least 24 hours for your test result.

What About Antibody Testing?

Kroger is offering rapid antibody tests at their Michigan pharmacies and at Ralphs Pharmacies in California. The test, which involves a small blood sample from a finger prick, will be available at Kroger pharmacies and clinics nationwide by the end of November. The cost is $25, and the results will take about 15 minutes.

 





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