Supporting COVID-19 Testing

and last updated on September 07, 2021 03:57 PM

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Supporting COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 drive-thru testing
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Walmart is part of communities all across America, and we believe we can play a vital role by helping our neighbors in a time of crisis. We are committed to supporting efforts to expand COVID-19 drive-thru testing through partnerships with federal and state governments, labs and insurance companies. From standing up free community testing sites with HHS and working with insurance companies to test their members to supporting testing events in hard hit communities, we have continued to learn from our testing sites and become more and more efficient in how we operate and how we integrate testing into our business. Walmart is supporting more than 600 testing sites across the country that have tested hundreds of thousands of people. From the beginning, when we were asked to step-up and support community testing, our goal was to help provide increased access to testing in our communities and playing a part to help combat the pandemic. We will continue to find innovative ways to do just that.

Read more: Our Role in COVID-19 Testing and Next Steps in Our Journey

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be tested?

Drive-through and curbside Community Testing Sites are available for those eligible to be tested based on CDC or state and local guidelines. These sites are supported by insurance, self-pay, or government programs. Over-the-Counter (OTC) options are also available in stores and on Walmart.com.

Is there a cost for the test?

There is no out-of-pocket cost to the individual for the HHS Community Testing Sites. No-cost testing is also available based on eligibility at Walmart testing sites supported by Quest Diagnostics. Testing by self-pay is also available for those who do not wish to submit to insurance or the government for reimbursement. Persons with or without symptoms can qualify for a free test.

Where are the testing sites?

Visit QuestCOVID19.com to see if there is a location near you. Please be sure to check with your local department of health for additional locations supported by HHS.

Is an appointment required? How do people sign up for an appointment?

Yes, an appointment is required. Visit QuestCOVID19.com.

What lab company is supporting the testing sites?

Quest Diagnostics is the lab company screening, scheduling appointments, processing the samples and delivering results to those tested at our drive-through and curbside testing sites. For HHS supported community events, HHS will contract with eTrueNorth to conduct the testing in Walmart parking lots.

Is there an age requirement? 

Adults 18 years of age or older.

Ages 4-17: Parent or legal guardian must complete the eligibility screener and accompany patient to the appointment.

What type of test is used?

The drive-thru sites use a PCR self-administered nasal swab to test for active infection. This test allows those being tested to swab their own nose onsite while in their vehicles, observed by a trained Walmart pharmacist to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and then the sealed sample is dropped into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site.

In some locations, we are providing access to testing via a curbside pick-up of take-home, non-observed PCR self-administered collection kits to test for active infection. Customers can request a test kit at QuestCOVID19.com, which will screen and schedule appointments for curbside pick-up of the test for those individuals who meet medical eligibility for testing. Once on site, those picking up a kit will park in the pharmacy pick-up parking spaces and call the number on the sign; those picking up a kit will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification and ID check. The take-home, self-collection kit will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose at their convenience at home. Once the sample has been collected, patients can follow the directions on how to ship the test kit for processing, following the included instructions.

HHS community sites will test for active infection using either rapid diagnostic antigen tests or PCR tests that are sent to the laboratory for testing.

How long does it take to get results?

Timing on receiving test results vary depending on the number of people taking the test and the lab’s capacity to process the tests. Visit Quest’s information page for their latest estimates.

Does Walmart do COVID-19 drive-thru testing at pharmacy windows?

Testing is available at some drive-thru pharmacy windows. People being tested are provided with a testing kit from the pharmacist through the drive-thru window tray. The pharmacist observes as they swab themselves through the sealed pharmacy window, then the individual properly seals the test in a container and plastic bag and drops their sample at a drop box as they pull out. A lab courier picks up the samples from the drop box outside once a day. The test samples never enter the pharmacy.

Are Walmart associates at the test sites?

Our pharmacists are observing the swabbing at Walmart pharmacy drive-thru windows. Other Walmart associates are helping with support tasks.

HHS supported sites have personnel on-site from the contracted lab to perform testing.

Is Walmart being paid for these sites?

Walmart is donating site supplies and materials and our associates’ time at the HHS Supported Community Testing Sites.

At some locations where Walmart is partnering with lab and insurance companies, Walmart receives payment to cover our cost to operate the testing sites.

Are at-home tests available at Walmart?

At-home COVID-19 Antigen Screening Self Tests and self-administered PCR mail in tests are now available in store and on Walmart.com and SamsClub.com.

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Covid Testing Available through Walmart by Test Type:

PCR
The gold standard; detects viral genetic material with PCR technology (polymerase chain reaction) in persons with active infection. Generally, PCR testing is more reliable than antigen tests.

Where is it available?

Antigen
Identifies currently infected persons by looking for proteins from the virus (opposed to genetic material). Most often used for screening to identify people who may need a more definitive test.

Where is it available?

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Press Kit / View and download media assets related to testing efforts.

Page last updated on July 9, 2021