Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee has initiated free drive-thru coronavirus testing at 11 of its pharmacy locations across its eight-state trade area.
People interested in getting tested must first register online to receive a test voucher number, at which time they also will be given a specific testing site and an appointment time, Hy-Vee said yesterday. Individuals don’t need to have COVID-19 symptoms to be tested.
Hy-Vee is offering the coronavirus testing at in-store pharmacies Chariton, Cherokee, Davenport and West Des Moines, Iowa; Rochester and Maple Grove, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Sioux Falls, S.D., and at Hy-Vee Drugstores in Iowa City, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb. Dallas-based eTrueNorth, a health service provider specializing in pharmacy-based care delivery, is managing the testing.
At the test site, patients provide a printed voucher number or show the voucher number on their smartphone. Next, they receive a self-administered nasal swab test kit from a Hy-Vee pharmacy employee, who explains how to perform the test and supervises the process. The patient then drops the completed test kit in a collection bin.
Hy-Vee said the testing takes about five minutes. Hy-Vee pharmacies collect all of the tests and ship them to a lab via UPS. Results are delivered within three to five business days, and patient are alerted via email when results are available. Upon receiving the email notification, they return to the test registration site and log in to view their lab report, which also can be printed.
Testing is provided at the designated pharmacy sites from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays, depending on the location.
According to the test registration site, titled “Do I Need a COVID-19 Test?” and run by eTrueNorth, testing follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to determine eligibility. Those eligible for testing include health care workers and first responders, people with symptoms and individuals without symptoms (in accordance with state and local plans for public health monitoring). Some states have a minimum age testing requirement.
eTrueNorth is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state and local officials, and pharmacy and lab partners to open testing sites in areas of need as part of a public-private partnership announced on March 13, when the federal government declared COVID-19 a national emergency.
Overall, Hy-Vee operates more than 275 stores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.