Kroger Health, the health care services arm of The Kroger Co., has expanded COVID-19 testing to its more than 220 The Little Clinic locations in nine states.
The expansion will enable Kroger Health’s licensed health professionals to broaden access to coronavirus testing and convenient care services, Kroger Health said yesterday. The Little Clinic in-store locations can test up to 5,000 patients per day, according to the company. Tests are available by appointment.
Since April, Kroger Health has performed more than 150,000 COVID-19 tests across 19 states at drive-thru and walk-up testing locations. Last week, Kroger unveiled COVIDCare Plus, a coronavirus testing solution for employers that includes the Kroger Health’s FDA-authorized COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit and access to clinical health services. The program is now available in 17 states.
In early July, Kroger announced the availability of the COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit to all associates, and in May the company began offering frontline workers access to free coronavirus tests, either via self-administered test kits or drive-thru test sites.
“We are proud of our drive-thru testing program that provided a quick, interim testing solution, and now we are focused on building testing capability that serves more Americans on an ongoing basis,” Kroger Health President Colleen Lindholz said in a statement. “These longer-term COVID-19 testing solutions include leveraging our clinic locations and our FDA-authorized COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit so we can reach more people.”
At the clinics, the COVID-19 testing will mirror the self-administered tests now used at Kroger Health's public test sites.
Kroger Health said the clinic testing will mirror the self-administered collection process now employed at its community testing locations. Patients can access Kroger Health’s free screening tool at krogerhealth.com/clinictesting to determine if testing is appropriate for them and schedule an appointment. Once an appointment is scheduled, a Kroger Health practitioner will contact the patient via telehealth or by phone.
The Little Clinics will offer designated parking for patients, and most COVID-19 sample collections can be self-administered under the observation of a Kroger Health professional while patients remain in their vehicles, Kroger said. The company has also instituted extra measures at the clinics, including enhanced air filtration systems, to protect the health of associates, patients and customers,.
Kroger Health noted that the expanded coronavirus testing at its clinics comes just ahead of flu season, when many health officials expect an increased need for COVID-19 testing to help diagnose the disease amid potentially similar symptoms.
“COVID-19 and the flu share many of the same symptoms, which could cause added confusion and concern for Americans of all ages,” according to Kroger Health Chief Medical Officer Marc Watkins, M.D. “Kroger Health is ramping up our comprehensive testing efforts to provide our communities with the resources they need stay healthy and flatten the curve.”
The Little Clinics are blocated inside select Kroger, Fry’s, Jay C, Dillons and King Soopers stores in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. Along with the clinics, Kroger Health operates more than 2,200 pharmacies in 35 states and serves more than 14 million customers.
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