Flu season and cedar fever compounded with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to make for a worrisome winter. In an effort to make testing for the novel coronavirus more accessible, CVS is launching rapid-result tests in 21 stores across the state, including three in Austin.
The Rhode Island-based health company announced its COVID-19 testing expansion on October 28, adding that it hopes to offer the service at 1,000 clinics nationwide by the end of the year.
In the Austin metro, COVID-19 rapid-result tests are available at the following CVS stores beginning this week:
- 10550 W. Parmer Ln.
- 2306 RR 620 South in Lakeway
- 2013 Kelly Ln. in Pflugerville
Test results are usually available within 30 minutes. Rapid-result COVID-19 tests are available at no cost to patients who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, for those with private insurance, or those insured by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, notes a release. Read more about testing costs here.
Patients must register in advance at CVS.com in order to obtain a rapid-result test. Tests are also available for patients ages 12-17, but they must have a parent or guardian fill out the testing information. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult to the testing site.
Once at the site, patients should remain in their vehicle and proceed to a designated site located in the parking lot. In rare occasions, the test will take place inside the store, so follow signage and instructions.
"Access to rapid-result tests enables us to help minimize community spread of COVID-19 by being able to more quickly identify active COVID-19 infection," said David Fairchild, MD, Chief Medical Officer, MinuteClinic. "In addition, we can test and treat symptomatic patients who test negative for COVID-19 for seasonal illnesses such as flu or strep and provide appropriate treatment and care."
Earlier this year, CVS expanded its COVID-19 response with drive-thru service in 33 states across the U.S., including Texas. The company's latest offering comes amid a nationwide spike in coronavirus cases, including 500,000 new cases in the last week alone. As of October 26, Texas had more than 874,000 confirmed cases and 17,595 deaths.