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07/19/2022

Rite Aid provides access to COVID-19 molecular testing

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Rite Aid is offering a more advanced form of COVID-19 test.

Rite Aid Corp. is entering a new partnership to offer COVID-19 molecular tests at stores across the country.

The drugstore retailer is collaborating with Quest Diagnostics to provide access to COVID-19 molecular testing - polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or similar nucleic acid amplification tests - to its customers. Through this partnership, more than 2,350 Rite Aid and Bartell Drugs stores now offer access to Quest PCR testing, either through their drive-thru locations or the addition of at-home specimen testing kits from stores without drive-thrus.

Both options require an appointment be made through the Quest website. Quest Diagnostics will provide results electronically to individuals through the MyQuest online portal and app. Rite Aid and Bartell Drugs customers can schedule to pick up a COVID-19 PCR testing kit with at-home specimen collection or schedule observed drive-thru collection at the two banners’ websites, where they will be directed to request a test through Quest’s consumer-initiated test platform. QuestDirect.

Quest’s kits come with a prepaid FedEx envelope for overnight shipping to a Quest laboratory. Currently, Quest says the average time to provide a test result is one to two days, although result turnaround times can fluctuate with demand levels and vary by region and other factors.

“As new variants spread throughout our communities, testing remains a critical tool as we continue to support our communities in the fight against COVID-19,” said Karen Staniforth, chief pharmacy officer at Rite Aid. “Identifying COVID-19 infection helps individuals obtain the treatment they need while helping to prevent further spread of the disease. We are proud to collaborate with Quest to make testing easily accessible for our customers by expanding to all of our stores.”

“As people continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and families need access to convenient, affordable and quality diagnostic testing in order to engage in activities more safely and responsibly,” said Cathy Doherty, senior VP, regional businesses, Quest Diagnostics. “PCR and other molecular diagnostic tests are the gold-standard for reliable COVID-19 testing. Our relationship with Rite Aid will extend our delivery of COVID-19 testing to more communities in the United States.”

In addition to the molecular tests, Rite Aid locations continue to provide rapid, over-the-counter at-home antigen COVID-19 test kits for customers. Rite Aid also continues to provide COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to eligible customers, and all Rite Aid locations are able to dispense the oral medications, Paxlovid, and Lagevrio (molnupiravir), for treatment of COVID-19.

And in September 2021, Rite Aid began partnering with secure identity company Clear to enable customers vaccinated at any Rite Aid location to supplement their paper vaccination card with a verified digital version accessible on their mobile device. The secure digital vaccine card can be linked to Clear’s Health Pass screening solution that has been used by more than 130 organizations.

Once their digital vaccine card is created, users can share their verified proof of vaccination anywhere and anytime they like. In addition, the digital vaccine card automatically links to Health Pass to create a frictionless entry at participating Health Pass locations.

Based in Camp Hill, Pa., Rite Aid operates 2,350 retail pharmacy locations across 17 states under the Rite Aid and Bartell Drugs banners.