With consumers often finding it difficult to discern COVID-19 symptoms from those of the flu or common cold, Kroger Health plans to offer a three-in-one test at all of its The Little Clinic locations.
Covington, Kent.-based Gravity Diagnostics said its 3-in-1 multiplex test for flu A/B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19 helps differentiate these three types of infections in respiratory specimens. Under a nationwide expansion across Kroger’s 224 Little Clinics, Gravity Diagnostics will perform the 3-in-1 test and provide results to the public.
The 3-in-1 multiplex test enables consumers to test for three viruses with one swab collection, Gravity Diagnostics noted. In turn, the results from the multiplex test can help health professionals know which targeted treatments and supportive care to employ. RSV is a common but contagious respiratory virus that typically causes mild, cold-like symptoms.
“Since the pandemic began, we have sought to bring the best COVID-19 testing options to our patients. We are excited to announce a new testing option that not only tests for SARS-CoV-2, but also includes influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in one swab,” Meggen Brown, chief nursing officer and national health and wellness clinical director at Kroger Health Little Clinic, said in a statement. “As a mother and provider, I am grateful that we now offer this option to our customers, as symptoms are so similar.”
Kroger Health, the health care arm of The Kroger Co., also recently introduced a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) home collection kit enabled by Gravity Diagnostics in selected stores. The COVID-19 test kit offers at-home sample collection with a PCR test performed at a CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory.
“We hope to continue controlling the spread of COVID-19 while knowing we are now in peak flu and RSV season,” commented Tony Remington, CEO and co-founder of Gravity Diagnostics, CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified lab licensed in all 50 states. “Flu A/B, RSV and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so it is important — especially during flu season — for you to have confidence in your testing and receive the right test at the right time.”
Overall, Kroger Health has over 22,000 health care practitioners — ranging from pharmacists and nurse practitioners to dietitians and technicians — and operates more than 2,200 pharmacies and 224 clinics in 35 states, serving 14 million-plus customers. Earlier this month, Kroger Health was named the recipient of the 2022 American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Immunization Champion Award, having administered more than 10 million COVID-19 vaccines.
“Gravity Diagnostics’ 3-in-1 multiplex is another way we are expanding partnerships and our portfolio in the wellness, proactive health and longevity initiatives at Kroger Health,” Colleen Lindholz, president of Cincinnati-based Kroger Health, said in a statement. “We look forward to expanding convenient care services across our network of pharmacies where we can, as well.”