Lack of protective gear has slowed drive-thru testing


CVS Health Chief Govt Larry Merlo stated a lack of own protective equipment has slowed the popular rollout of its generate-through tests for the coronavirus and restricted the amount of tests that web pages are able to do.

In an interview on “Closing Bell,” he claimed CVS is doing the job carefully with Walmart, Walgreens and Target to make assessments additional quickly readily available.

“A single of the fee-restricting methods is the availability of protective gear for these that are manning those people web pages, and that’s a thing that we’re operating via,” Merlo claimed.

Employees at the generate-through checks ought to don gowns, masks and gloves as they swab a individual for a sample. They must transform that gear right after every individual to stay clear of having the future human being ill.

Leaders of the four retailers, which include CVS, met with President Donald Trump at the White Property on March 13 and dedicated to owning push-through testing web pages in their parking plenty. So far, CVS has just one exam web site, Walmart has two and Walgreens has a person. Target has not still introduced when exam web pages may open around its stores.

Consequently considerably, all of the test web-sites are constrained to initial responders and wellness care staff.

Last 7 days, Walmart’s Govt Vice President of Corporate Affairs Dan Bartlett attributed the delay to offer troubles, far too. He reported it has had issues acquiring exam kits and acquiring masks, gloves and other own protective gear for staff.

CVS opened its very first test internet site final week in Massachusetts. The website is in Shrewsbury, a suburb in Worcester County. It truly is taken a palms-on function with its take a look at web page: It staffed the facility in close proximity to its retail store with its possess workers, these kinds of as nurse practioners. Walmart’s and Walgreens’ web pages are staffed by governing administration employees.

Merlo claimed the organization has discovered a lot from the very first site, but he did not say when or the place it could open up more kinds.

He stated the internet site can do 100 to 110 checks per day and has found substantial demand from customers. “The tests are actually booked pretty much via the conclusion of this 7 days,” he mentioned.

One particular of the lessons, he reported, is how the organization could scale up to far more push-through lanes. In Massachusetts, he stated CVS can only match one generate-thru lane, but he would like to take its idea to much larger nearby parking tons, this sort of as at educational institutions and open up two, three or 4 drive-via lanes to  “get as numerous as 500 exams accomplished a day.”

Alongside with testing, CVS is in the center of an intense effort and hard work to fill 50,000 work opportunities, from keep associates to house shipping drivers, as it offers with a increasing need for above-the-counter medicines, prescriptions and other well being-care products and services. 

It is also supplying bonuses, ranging from $150 to $500, to pharmacists, retailer associates and other personnel who need to be on-web-site at CVS facilities, to realize their operate during the pandemic.


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