With over 9,200 stores across the U.S., Walgreens is a giant. The drugstore chain is contributing to the nationwide struggle with COVID-19. Recently, select locations have started testing for the virus. Here is how the system works.
The corporation has partnered up with LabCorp. Customers now have access to drive-thru COVID-19 testing using the LabCorp diagnostic test. The chain has also expanded the product range. If you want to save money, check the Walgreens ad on rabato.com where all deals are conveniently arranged. Now, you can buy groceries and other essential items at your local Walgreens.
How Much Does It Cost?
Customers who meet the CDC criteria get tested free of charge. At some locations only, LabCorp tests require billing of the patient’s insurance. It is recommended that you contact your insurance company to check their health plan. Restrictions apply.
Find the Nearest Testing Site
The chain is currently expanding its drive-thru COVID-19 testing. Check the company’s website to find the nearest pharmacy in your state. The company’s goal is the provision of tests in 49 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. Still, some residents may be unable to find their area on the list.
If your area is not listed yet, contact your local department of health. At the moment, Walgreens is expanding its reach in collaboration with state authorities and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS). As new locations open, they are listed online.
How Does It Work?
If you experience symptoms, make an appointment immediately. It is also necessary after being around a COVID-positive person. CDC recommends getting tested if you notice any symptoms within 14 days of close contact. If the other person tests positive later, you should also get tested. Here, close contact means that:
- the distance between you was 6 feet or less for a period of time, or
- you had contact with their fluids (for example, contagion spreads through coughing and sneezing).
Walgreens understands that the safety of testing sites is crucial. Customers do not enter the building throughout the procedure. Everything is done outdoors, while they remain in their cars. This means that walk-in testing is not provided. The drive-thru format helps prevent further spread of the virus.
First, you need to make an appointment at your local pharmacy. These locations work 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At the location, you will be asked to show a copy of your confirmation email and a photo ID. You may be asked for your insurance card. Here is how test samples are submitted and analyzed.
- Fill in a special form on the Walgreens site. This includes your patient information. Customers who sign in have the form auto-filled.
- As an eligible customer, you may choose a Walgreens location where you want to get tested. Choose a suitable time and schedule the visit.
- Drive to the location. Do not leave your vehicle. Roll up your window and get tested. A Walgreens employee will assist you, so you can do a nasal swab yourself.
- Your sample and contact details will be sent to PWNHealth for analysis.
- You will get your test results from PWNHealth by post, email, or phone.
How Will I Get My Results?
Generally, this takes up to 4 days. You will be informed about your result by email, mail, or phone. Timing varies from location to location, and it depends on the type of test used. When results are sent to lab partners, this takes the longest.
Will the Results Be Shared?
In accordance with Walgreens’ Notice of Privacy Practices, your personal information may be used for specific purposes only. These include treatment and payment, as well as other cases specified in the document. In certain situations, health and medical information may be shared.
Every test includes the sharing of a patient’s information with PWNHealth providers and lab partners. This is necessary for authorization of every COVID-19 test lab order, analysis of the sample, and delivering the results. Law also requires that the retailer shares test results with public health authorities.
Are Testing Sites Safe?
The chain is taking serious measures to protect you. It makes sure all customers who visit their locations and all staff members working there are safe. All employees at the testing sites wear personal protective equipment. This is a strict requirement.
All tests are self-administered, which limits contact between staff and customers. Patients do nasal swabs themselves. They never leave their vehicles throughout the process, and they are not allowed to go inside the stores.
False Negative and False Positive Results
No COVID-19 testing gives 100% accuracy. Therefore, you need to understand that false results are possible. You could have COVID-19 despite a negative test result and vice versa. It is therefore recommended you communicate with your health provider to determine the next steps.
It is unlikely that the test will return a positive result which is incorrect. In the case of false results, your health provider will examine details of your medical history to work out the recommended steps. This includes any symptoms you may be experiencing, the locations you have visited, etc.
Expanded Product Range
Walgreens has worked on its product range to meet the needs of customers during the pandemic. Now, you can buy over 60 essential products at the drive-thru. This includes groceries, cleaning supplies, and more. This means you can get groceries, household goods, and medication in one place. Currently, Walgreens offers:
- infant formula,
- adult nutrition,
- immunity support,
- cough, cold, pain and fever medication,
- first aid/medical supplies,
- paper goods.
Services for Seniors
The chain is also supporting seniors, their most vulnerable customers. Walgreens health outcomes pharmacists make sure these patients have proper access to all the necessary products and prescription medication.
Seniors may also use special discounts on a special day. The whole day on the first Thursday of the month, customers over the age of 55 get 20 and 30 percent off national and Walgreens brands, respectively.