CVS pharmacies in California to begin coronavirus testing at 91 new drive-thru locations

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A CVS drive-thru coronavirus testing site is seen in an undated photo released by the company.

A CVS drive-thru coronavirus testing site is seen in an undated photo released by the company.

CVS pharmacies will begin testing for the coronavirus at 91 new drive-thru locations across California, the company announced Thursday.

Residents 18 and older will be able to book an appointment, drive up to the locations and use a self-swab test that can then be dropped off in a box by the drive-thru window, with test results expected three days later.

The new testing sites will be at pharmacies in Compton, East Los Angeles, Lakewood, Lancaster, North Hollywood, Lomita, La Habra, Downey, Azusa, Irvine, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Corona, Costa Mesa, Arcadia, Baldwin Park, Burbank, Murrieta, Pasadena, Riverside and several other cities. A complete list can be found online.

CVS already had 14 locations testing for the virus in the state, and the new sites bring it closer to its goal to ultimately have 1,000 coronavirus testing locations across the country, the company said.

“More than half of the company’s 1,000 test sites will serve communities with the greatest need for support, as measured by the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index,” CVS said in a news release. “The index tracks a variety of census variables including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that may weaken a community’s ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.”

Only those who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for testing will be able to register for a testing appointment at the new locations online, starting Friday.

People arriving to get tested will either be directed to a pharmacy drive-thru window, or a location in the parking lot, where they will get a test kit and receive guidance on how to use the swab properly.

A third-party lab will then process the sample, CVS said.

Expanded coronavirus testing has been one of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s benchmarks for reopening more spaces in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles County offers free coronavirus testing to all residents, including those without COVID-19 symptoms at testing sites within the city of L.A. Appointments can also be made online.

As of Wednesday, 1.8 million people had been tested for the coronavirus across California, according to the California Department of Public Health. Over 101,600 people have tested positive across all the state’s counties. 

L.A. County, which remains the epicenter of the pandemic in the state, has processed tests for 531,000 people, 8% turning out positive, according to the county’s health department.

An average of 18,100 people are tested for the virus each week in L.A. County.

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