CVS plans to bring COVID testing to store locations

A CVS Health store in New Jersey.

CVS Health plans to significantly expand its COVID-19 testing capabilities nationwide, including in New Jersey, it announced Monday.

The Rhode Island-based drugstore chain said in a news release that it will offer self-swab tests in parking lots or drive-thru windows to people who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company hopes to have up to 1,000 testing sites nationwide by the end of May, with a goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month.

A CVS spokesperson told ROI-NJ that the initial focus will be on locations with MinuteClinics, and the company’s main limitation right now is the availability of testing equipment and capacity of processing labs.

The community-based tests will augment CVS’ large-scale testing sites, which have been in operation since March.

“Our industry has been united by the unique role we can play in addressing the pandemic and protecting people’s health,” CEO and President Larry J. Merlo said in a prepared statement. “We all share the same goal, and that’s dramatically increasing the frequency and efficiency of testing so we can slow the spread of the virus and start to responsibly reopen the economy when experts tell us it’s safe.”

CVS said it is partnering with several organizations to help improve access to testing and care for underserved communities, including minorities that have been disproportionately impacted by coronavirus.

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