ORLANDO, Fla. - Rapid testing for COVID-19 is coming to Walgreens. Many hope Central Florida stores will be included.
It would be a drive thru testing site, someplace outside the store. Walgreens is still deciding which locations in Florida will get the testing.
Walgreens says, a temporary space will be set up outside the stores, where Walgreens pharmacists will oversee the self administration of the COVID-19 test.
"I think our ability to ramp up our testing is a long time coming," says Dr. Candice Jones. "You’ll be at a familiar location maybe and then be able to swab yourself. I think it will be a quicker result."
Walgreens says it will be using Abbott Labs. A spokesperson says it delivers positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results within 13 minutes.
"Now, we’re talking minutes rather than hours or days to get patient results." explains Dr. John Hackett Jr., of Abbott Labs.
Dr. Leonard Rollman says his daughters were under a two week quarantine after concerns they were exposed. He says the rapid tests could avoid long wait times.
"It’s gonna help everyone make a decision of what their next step should be."
A Walgreens spokesperson says there will be 15 new sites in seven states, including Florida. The states included are Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. The expansion is a next step building on Walgreens’ collaboration with the Trump Administration, federal health agencies, and state and local authorities.
"I hope we will get a site here. I know they’re trying to pick the states and locations in the states that seem to be hotspots," Dr. Jones says.
Walgreens plans to test up to 3,000 people per day at the sites, which are expected to activate later this week. Dr. Rollman says it could have helped his family. He finally got to see his daughters last weekend.
"It was nice to see everybody again and kinda settle back into our old routine. If there’s such a thing anymore."
Patients will be directed to testing locations through the Walgreens app. They say the tests will be free for people who meet the criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control.