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Walgreens to open 15 drive-through coronavirus test centers in 7 states

By
Don Jacobson
Vehicles line up at a drive-through coronavirus testing center on Staten Island, New York, on March 19. Photo by Maj. Patrick Cordova/U.S. Air National Guard/UPI
Vehicles line up at a drive-through coronavirus testing center on Staten Island, New York, on March 19. Photo by Maj. Patrick Cordova/U.S. Air National Guard/UPI | License Photo

April 7 (UPI) -- National drug store chain Walgreens said Tuesday it will open more than a dozen drive-through coronavirus testing sites in seven states capable of testing as many as 3,000 people per day.

The company said 15 new sites will open in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, and will offer testing at no cost for those who meet federal guidelines.

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All tests must be made by appointment and the sites will operate in collaboration with federal health agencies and state and local authorities.

Walgreens presently operates just one drive-through testing site, in the Chicago area. The additional sites will use utilize the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test, which delivers results within minutes.

"Opening our first drive-through testing location last month has allowed us to quickly learn and develop an efficient and scalable process, and we're pleased to be working with Abbott to help accelerate our efforts, and to enable quick results for those being tested," Walgreens President Richard Ashworth said in a statement.

Competitor CVS Health said Monday it will open drive-through test sites in Atlanta and Rhode Island.

Both companies, plus Walmart and Target, pledged last month to aid the Trump Administration in providing greater access to COVID-19 testing. The effort has been slowed by equipment shortages and difficulty coordinating with federal health officials.

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Bass Pro Shops marketing manager David Smith (R) carries a box of donated face masks into Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., on May 13. The company is donating 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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