A pedestrian walks through the parking lot of a CVS Health Corp. store in Oakland, California, Aug. 2, 2019.
Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images
CVS has opened its first drive-up testing location for the coronavirus in Massachusetts.
Starting around 3 pm on Thursday, the health-care company began offering tests in a pharmacy parking lot in Shrewsbury, about 50 miles west of Boston in Worcester County. It is not open to the general public. Tests at the site are limited to first responders, such as firefighters, nurses and police, who are referred by state and public health officials, spokesman Joe Goode said.
CVS is one of four retailers that pledged on March 13 at a White House press conference that it would open drive-up testing locations to help detect COVID-19 and fight its spread.
CVS is staffing the location with its own nurse practitioners and pharmacists, Goode said. It closed the Massachusetts store to increase safety and make operations easier, he said.
At the test site, people will drive to different stations in their car. They will first get a temperature check. If they have a fever, they will go to a registration station and get a number that’s attached to their test kit to later look up results.
After registration, they will go to a station where a health-care professional puts a swab up their nose. The nasal swab will be wrapped in three plastic bags and refrigerated to keep it safe when it’s transported to the lab, Goode said. A private lab, which is not owned by CVS, will do the testing and deliver a result in about 48 hours, he said.
All employees will be in protective gear, he said.
He said CVS is still getting the new site up and running, but it expects to do 12 tests per hour. It will be open from 8 am to 8 pm, he said.
CVS has not announced when or where it may add more testing. “We are going to learn from this site before we take this to other locations,” Goode said.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.