Retail pharmacies still lack widespread COVID-19 testing, NPR report says

Retail pharmacy chains have opened COVID-19 testing sites at an average of 4 percent of their nationwide locations, despite the government's plan to have stores roll out testing in virtually every location, NPR reported. 

President Donald Trump said during a press conference April 27 that stores such as CVS, Target, Walgreens and Walmart would open COVID-19 testing sites in virtually all of their locations, according to NPR

NPR reviewed the number of sites retailers have opened and found that, on average, only 4 percent of the companies' stores have testing sites as of June 1: 

  • Target had 1 testing site out of 1,871 locations (0.05 percent)
  • Walgreens had 28 testing sites out of 9,277 locations (0.3 percent) 
  • Kroger had 64 testing sites out of 2,800 locations (2.3 percent) 
  • Rite Aid had 71 testing sites out of 2,464 locations (2.9 percent) 
  • Walmart had 180 testing sites out of 5,352 locations (3.4 percent) 
  • CVS had 986 sites plus five rapid result locations out of 9,900 stores (10 percent) 

A Rite Aid spokesperson told NPR: "We never made sweeping statements like some of our competitors did, where we're going to open up a thousand testing sites. ... We put the promise out initially to do 25 sites, and we fulfilled that promise."

An HHS spokesperson told NPR that the drive-thru testing program "continues to provide Americans with faster, less invasive and more convenient testing."

William Hanage, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard, told NPR: "Where the blame should lie is probably not with the retailers. Because there is not, as we know, a coherent national response to this. It's driven very much at the local level."

Read the full article here

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