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CVS Health Expands Testing Capabilities Amid Rise In COVID-19 Cases

CVS drive-thru testing site in Chula Vista on May 24, 2020.

Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Above: CVS drive-thru testing site in Chula Vista on May 24, 2020.

CVS Health announced Thursday it is expanding its COVID- 19 no-cost testing program by adding 35 more test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thrus across California, including three locations in San Diego County, amid a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The opening of additional test sites on Friday adds to the 107 locations previously opened statewide, including 14 in San Diego County.

The nearly 200 additional test sites opening across the country this week are among the more than 1,400 locations CVS Health has opened since May and expand the company's testing capacity to more than 1.5 million tests per month, subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity, according to President and CEO Larry J. Merlo.

Nearly 60% of the company's 1,400 test sites across the country, including 81% of sites in California, are in counties that serve communities with the greatest need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Social Vulnerability Index.

The index tracks a variety of census variables, including poverty, lack of access to transportation and crowded housing that may weaken a community's ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines.

Patients must register in advance to schedule an appointment at www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.

Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window or a location in the parking lot at a few stores, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly.

Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in about three days.

Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

The testing sites opening Friday in San Diego County are located at the following CVS pharmacies:

  • 1810 Main St., Ramona;
  • 6265 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego; and
  • 800 Palm Ave., Imperial Beach.

Previously opened San Diego County testing sites are located at CVS pharmacies at:

  • 2650 Gateway Road, Carlsbad;
  • 4615 Frazee Road, Oceanside;
  • 1980 College Blvd., Oceanside;
  • 9225 Twin Trails Drive, San Diego;
  • 1302 W. Mission Road, San Marcos;
  • 997 Woodland Parkway, San Marcos;
  • 635 S. Melrose Drive, Vista.
  • 7740 Rancho Santa Fe Road, Carlsbad;
  • 163rd Avenue Extension, Chula Vista;
  • 645 E. Palomar St., Chula Vista;
  • 1299 Broadway, El Cajon;
  • 572 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon;
  • 14589 Camino Del Norte, San Diego; and
  • 3350 Palm Ave., San Diego.

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