Walmart using drones to deliver at-home coronavirus test kits in Texas, New York

Nation/world

Walmart is using drones to deliver at-home coronavirus test kits to people’s homes.

The company partnered with Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp to launch trial deliveries of the self-collection kits in Cheektowaga, New York, in early October, a Walmart spokesman said in a news release.

This week, the service also launched in El Paso, Texas.

Those looking to get a kit must live in a single-family home within a 1-mile radius of the designated Walmart superstores, according to the spokesman. People in El Paso and Cheektowaga would have to put the order in online.

Drones drop off the kits, which would land on the driveway, front sidewalk or backyard of the customer’s home. And delivery is free, according to Walmart.

The recipient can then perform a self-administered nasal swab and send their sample back to Quest Diagnostics for testing using a prepaid shipping label found in the package.

The test kit delivery service comes at a time when the United States is seeing a coronavirus surge that is taking a dire toll on states, with long lines reappearing at testing sites throughout the country.

“We hope drone delivery of self-collection kits will shape contactless testing capabilities on a larger scale and continue to bolster the innovative ways Walmart plans to use drone delivery in the future,” Walmart spokesman Tom Ward said.

The company has also been using drones to deliver certain grocery and household essential items from Walmart stores to people’s homes in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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