Dec. 3, 2020
By Lori Flees, SVP and COO, Walmart U.S. Health & Wellness
Throughout the pandemic, Walmart and Sam’s Club have focused on providing options to customers and members so they can shop in the way best for them. That’s why we offer curbside pickup, delivery options and in-store and in-club shopping experiences to name a few.
Now, we’re applying that same lens to how we can provide access to COVID-19 testing to as many people as possible in ways that best align with their needs. This week, Walmart.com and SamsClub.com are rolling out several COVID-19 test collection kit1 options. To get a test collection kit, customers purchase a code providing access to a health survey. Once the survey is completed, a physicians’ order is generated if appropriate, and the purchase is completed. The test collection kit is mailed to the customer who can then self-collect a sample and mail to the lab for results. Offering options allows individuals to choose the sample collection method that is right for them depending on what type of sample they would like to provide (nasal swab vs. saliva), if they want a sample to be tested for flu and the ship-to-home delivery time. These test collection kits can provide outcomes within as little as 24 to 48 hours after the test collection kit has been received at the lab. Some test collection kits even come with a telehealth call if a positive result occurs.
All of this work builds on the COVID-19 testing support we began nine months ago when we were asked to support testing in our parking lots and, in a little more than a week from ideation, a testing location was up and running in Northlake, Illinois. We quickly broadened our support by creating additional drive-thru testing and partnerships with federal and state governments, labs and insurance companies, launching testing at pharmacy drive-thru windows. Currently there are nearly 600 testing locations supported by Walmart and our partners. Through these sites and partnerships, Walmart has helped to facilitate tests for hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
As we continue to look for innovative ways to expand access to testing, Walmart is also learning from our drone delivery pilots of at-home COVID-19 self-collection kits. This was a new way to provide additional, and contactless testing options in North Las Vegas, Nevada; Cheektowaga, New York; and currently in El Paso, Texas.
I’m incredibly proud to work for a company that continues to identify ways to help provide access to COVID testing while maintaining high expectations for the quality of testing and making the safety of our associates and customers a priority.
1This test has not been FDA cleared or approved. This test has been authorized by FDA under an EUA for use by authorized laboratories. This test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens; and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.