Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., today announced plans to expand its drive-thru COVID-19 testing model to 50 locations in more than 12 states to perform up to 100,000 tests by the end of May. To date, Kroger Health has performed nearly 8,000 tests in 30 locations in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The company has also launched a pilot for site-specific testing for company associates in Michigan and Colorado.
“As America’s grocer, Kroger is here for our associates, customers, communities and our country,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “As part of Kroger’s commitment to help America reopen safely, we are proud to help expand access to COVID-19 testing as a partner in the US Department of Health and Human Services Public-Private Testing Partnership.”
A key enabler of this expansion is pharmacists’ ability to order and administer testing. Earlier this month, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a statement on Authorizing Licensed Pharmacists to Order and Administer COVID-19 Tests.
“I’m particularly energized by the opportunity for our pharmacists to take a lead role at testing sites through the expanded scope of practice,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “This will enable tens of thousands of additional healthcare professionals to join the fight on the frontlines.”
Through the collaboration, HHS is providing access to test kits and laboratory services via eTrueNorth and Kroger Health is providing professional services via its multidisciplinary team of nurse practitioners, pharmacists and technicians.
“We cannot do this alone,” continued Lindholz. “We greatly appreciate the collaboration and partnership with HHS and eTrueNorth and federal, state and local health departments and authorities as we work together to not only offer and administer testing, but to build the infrastructure and support necessary to establish each site.”
Using the HHS-recommended testing model, Kroger Health performs approximately 250-330 tests per day. Kroger Health testing sites use anterior nares or mid-turbinate nasal swab tests that are designed to increase safety. Patients remain in their cars throughout the testing process, which is completed in just a few minutes using self-administered test kits.
Americans can access Kroger Health’s free virtual screening tool to determine if testing is appropriate for them and identify available, dates and locations at krogerhealth.com/covidtesting. The screening tool was adapted from CDC recommendations and is intended to identify patients most in need of testing. Additionally, the website is updated weekly as new testing sites continue to open across the country.