CINCINNATI, April 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. ( NYSE: KR), today announced plans to expand its drive-thru COVID-19 testing model to 50 locations in more than 12 states to perform up to 100,000 tests by the end of May. To date, Kroger Health has performed nearly 8,000 tests in 30 locations in Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The company has also launched a pilot for site-specific testing for company associates in Michigan and Colorado.
"As America's grocer, Kroger is here for our associates, customers, communities and our country," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "As part of Kroger's commitment to help America reopen safely, we are proud to help expand access to COVID-19 testing as a partner in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public-Private Testing Partnership."
A key enabler of this expansion is pharmacists' ability to order and administer testing. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a statement on Authorizing Licensed Pharmacists to Order and Administer COVID-19 Tests.
"I'm particularly energized by the opportunity for our pharmacists to take a lead role at testing sites through the expanded scope of practice," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. "This will enable tens of thousands of additional healthcare professionals to join the fight on the frontlines."
Through the collaboration, HHS is providing access to test kits and laboratory services via eTrueNorth and Kroger Health is providing professional services via its multidisciplinary team of nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and technicians.
"We cannot do this alone," continued Lindholz. "We greatly appreciate the collaboration and partnership with HHS and eTrueNorth and federal, state and local health departments and authorities as we work together to not only offer and administer testing, but to build the infrastructure and support necessary to establish each site."
Using the HHS-recommended testing model, Kroger Health performs approximately 250-330 tests per day. Kroger Health testing sites use anterior nares or mid-turbinate nasal swab tests that are designed to increase safety. Patients remain in their cars throughout the testing process, which is completed in just a few minutes using self-administered test kits.
Americans can access Kroger Health's free virtual screening tool to determine if testing is appropriate for them and identify available, dates and locations at krogerhealth.com/covidtesting. The screening tool was adapted from CDC recommendations and is intended to identify patients most in need of testing. Additionally, the website is updated weekly as new testing sites continue to open across the country.
About Kroger Health:
Kroger Health, the healthcare arm of The Kroger Co., is one of America's leading retail healthcare organizations, with over 2,000 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers. Our team of 22,000 healthcare practitioners - from pharmacists and nurse practitioners, to dietitians and technicians – are committed to helping people live healthier lives. We believe in practicing at the top of our licenses and enabling "food as medicine" to help prevent disease before it starts. Learn more at www.krogerhealth.com.
About The Kroger Co.:
At The Kroger Co. ( NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.