WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — As of Friday, you can now get tested for COVID-19 at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Rhode Island.
CVS Health says these new sites will utilize self swab tests and deliver on the company’s commitment to establishing 1,000 testing locations across the country by the end of May. These new test sites help reach the goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month, dependent on the availability of supplies and lab capacity.
“CVS Health has been at the forefront of helping our nation scale-up COVID-19 testing capabilities, and we’re proud to meet our goal of establishing 1,000 testing sites in communities across the country,” President and CEO of CVS Health Larry Merlo said. “Opening access to testing in more locations using our drive-thru window represents an important milestone in our response to the pandemic.”
According to CVS Health, more than half of the company’s 1,000 test sites will serve communities that need the most support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index.
The index tracks a variety of statistics including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that may weaken a community’s ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.
Self-swab tests will be available to those who meet the CDC’s criteria and also state and age guidelines. Beginning Friday, patients must schedule an appointment online at an available CVS Pharmacy.
Upon arrival to an appointment, patients must stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given directions. A CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly.
Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.
Unlike the CVS site at Twin River in Lincoln, the new sites will not use the Abbott ID NOW rapid tests, which the FDA has warned may result in false negatives.
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Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.
Gov. Gina Raimondo mentioned in her press briefing on Thursday that the future of testing will move from large scale operations, into smaller and more local health care facilities. She continued to say testing has and will continue to be a factor in re-opening the state.
“We are going to continue to ramp up our efforts,” the governor said. “We want to be doing 10,000 tests a day by the end of summer and closer to 15,000-20,000 tests a day by the time school comes back.”
Rhode Island has tested 14% of the population which Raimondo says is higher than any other state.
The new testing sites in Rhode Island include:
- CVS Pharmacy, 1776 Broad Street, Cranston, RI 02905
- CVS Pharmacy, 2250 New London Turnpike, East Greenwich, RI 02818
- CVS Pharmacy, 1285 South County Trail, East Greenwich, RI 02818
- CVS Pharmacy, 63 Newport Avenue, East Providence, RI 02916
- CVS Pharmacy, 26 Putnam Pike, Johnston, RI 02919
- CVS Pharmacy, 1123 Boston Neck Road, Narragansett, RI 02882
- CVS Pharmacy, 935 Manton Avenue, Providence, RI 02909
- CVS Pharmacy, 960 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02905
- CVS Pharmacy, 834 Providence Street, West Warwick, RI 02887
- CVS Pharmacy, 151 Franklin Street, Westerly, RI 02891
A complete list of CVS Pharmacy drive-thru test sites can be found here.