Hy-Vee plans to offer rapid PCR COVID-19 testing across its eight-state Midwestern market, starting in metropolitan Des Moines, Iowa.
Five Hy-Vee Pharmacy locations in the Des Moines area will begin providing the tests on Oct. 6 via an outdoor, drive-thru testing process, Hy-Vee said Tuesday. Patients receive results on the same day as the test, ranging from as soon as 30 minutes to the end of the day.
The rapid PCR COVID-19 tests, which detect active COVID-19 infection, are available by appointment only and cost $119, West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee reported. To get a test, patients register online at hy-vee.com/covidtesting and select the rapid PCR testing option to schedule a testing time, choose a location and receive a test voucher number to bring to their appointment. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted for payment at the testing site.
The launch marks the first time that Hy-Vee is offering rapid PCR COVID-19 tests, according to spokeswoman Christina Gayman. So far, Hy-Vee doesn’t have a schedule for rolling out the tests to other pharmacies in its market area, she said.
“Our Des Moines pharmacies were staffed and ready to implement this testing option first,” Gayman said in an email on Tuesday. “We plan to expand the rapid PCR testing to additional locations across our eight-state region in the coming weeks.”
Hy-Vee currently provides other COVID-19 diagnostic testing options at selected locations, including a free lab test (molecular PCR), with results typically available in three to five business days; a rapid antigen test with results available in as soon as one to two hours; and rapid antibody testing that detects for past COVID-19 infection at selected Hy-Vee pharmacies, with results available in as soon as 15 minutes.
To receive a rapid PCR COVID test at a Hy-Vee pharmacy, patients must be age 5 or older, the company said. Testing areas will be located in designated Hy-Vee parking lot locations for patients to drive up to without having to leave their vehicle. Hy-Vee Pharmacy staff members will provide patients with the test kit, give instructions on how to self-administer the test and supervise the administration of the test. A parent or legal guardian must administer the test to patients ages 5 to 17. The completed test kits are dropped into a collection bin. During the process, patients must wear a mask and will be asked to lower it beneath their nose for the test. After testing is complete, results will be sent to the patient via email.
For the first pharmacies offering the rapid PCR COVID tests, testing days and hours vary by location: Noon-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for the Hy-Vee at 2540 E. Euclid Ave. in Des Moines; noon-2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for the Hy-Vee at 4605 Fleur Dr. in Des Moines; 7-9 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 9-11 a.m. Saturdays for the Hy-Vee at 410 N. Ankeny Blvd. in Ankeny; 7-9 a.m. Mondays and Fridays and 8-10 a.m. Saturdays for the Hy-Vee at 1005 E. Hickman Rd. in Waukee; and noon-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for the Hy-Vee at 1725 Jordan Creek Pkwy. in West Des Moines.