Story at a glance
- Walmart says it currently has three test sites open.
- The sites are staffed by the Department of Health and Human Services and Walmart pharmacists.
- President Trump announced in mid-March his administration would work with major retailers to establish COVID-19 testing sites.
Retail giant Walmart is planning to have more than 20 coronavirus testing sites up and running in 10 states by the end of the month, according to Business Insider.
“We currently have three sites open, and we have plans to expand testing to multiple sites next week,” a Walmart spokesperson told the outlet. “We have been learning a lot from our initial sites so that we can get the model right and are working hard to help expand testing in areas of need as quickly as possible.”
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Walmart has been working with the federal government on drive-thru testing sites in its parking lots. The first two testing locations opened in the Chicago area in March. The sites are staffed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Walmart pharmacists who volunteered to help, according to Business Insider.
President Trump announced in mid-March that his administration would help major retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and Target set up drive-thru coronavirus testing sites at their locations to expand COVID-19 tests.
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As of April 9, Walgreens had one drive-thru testing site operating and 15 preparing to open. CVS has three locations running and Target has yet to open any, according to Poynter. Rite Aid, which later joined the effort, had one location set up. The company said Tuesday it is planning to open new self-swab coronavirus testing sites across seven states in the coming weeks.
Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, updated reporters on the status of the testing sites about a week after Trump’s announcement, saying Walmart was waiting on supplies from the federal government.
“We have teams on the ground, we have tents, and everything’s ready,” Bartlett said referring to sites planning to open in a matter of days. The sites were waiting for test kids and personal protection equipment. “Once we figure out the supply issue, I think we’ll be off to the races,” he said.
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