CVS to add 1K rapid-result COVID-19 test sites at pharmacies

CVS Health is adding 1,000 more rapid-result testing sites at its pharmacies by the end of the year.

Close to 100 of the rapid-result testing sites will be operational this week across 22 states, CVS said. The testing process at these sites typically takes about 30 minutes from the initial swab—which is self-administered under supervision from a CVS Health employee—until the results are returned.

People who test negative for COVID-19 can then schedule a consultation at the on-site MinuteClinic to determine whether they should be tested for influenza or strep throat and formulate a care plan based on their symptoms.

“Access to rapid-result tests enables us to help minimize community spread of COVID-19 by being able to more quickly identify active COVID-19 infection,” said David Fairchild, M.D., chief medical officer at MinuteClinic, in a statement. “In addition, we can test and treat symptomatic patients who test negative for COVID-19 for seasonal illnesses such as flu or strep and provide appropriate treatment and care.”

RELATED: CVS aims to have 4,000 drive-thru testing sites open by mid-October

CVS said the rapid testing will also be available to some employers and universities that have signed on to its Return Ready solution, which tracks COVID-19 cases and testing to assist these organizations in reopening.

Patients seeking testing must schedule their visit online, and those under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, CVS said.

CVS currently operates more than 4,000 drive-thru testing locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia at its pharmacies, some of which will be refitted to offer rapid testing. Since March, the healthcare giant has administered more than 5 million tests for COVID-19.