Coronavirus: Walgreens Increasing Covid-19 Testing Capacity

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Drugstore chain Walgreens, and healthcare company Aegis Sciences Corp. are extending their relationship to perform fast and accurate COVID-19 diagnostic testing as Walgreens further expands COVID-19 drive-thru testing nationwide.

The drive-thru locations are part of Walgreens’ collaboration with the administration, federal health agencies, as well as state and local authorities for COVID-19 testing. Walgreens activated its first drive-thru testing site in the Chicago area on March 21, 2020.

The companies are looking to boost the testing services across more than 3,000 Walgreens pharmacy locations in February by providing additional testing capacity with good turnaround times. They are also planning to further increase the testing over the next few months.

Aegis is authorized to perform testing and provides all required public health reporting in all 50 states. Aegis’s Real Time RT-PCR testing is the diagnostic gold standard with turnaround time of less than 24 hours.

Testing is one of the best defences against COVID-19 which helps in stopping further community spread at a time when vaccine inventory still very limited. Since launching COVID-19 testing in April 2020, Aegis has performed over 3 million COVID-19 tests.

Aegis has also quickly increased testing capacity to meet the needs of communities across the United States. Early last fall, Aegis was selected to participate in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative and received an NIH grant in early September to expand COVID-19 testing capacity to 60,000 tests per day by September 30, 2020.

Since then, Aegis has increased capacity and is currently able to perform over 100,000 tests per day within a targeted 24-hour or less turnaround time.

Last week, Walgreens was selected by the health regulators to provide a limited number of COVID-19 vaccinations in stores across 15 states and jurisdictions from February 12 as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.

Since December 18, Walgreens has been administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to residents and staff at long-term care facilities with the aim of inoculating approximately 3 million residents and staff in 35,000 long-term care facilities as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Program.

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