By AFRO Staff
CVS Health announced the launch of a new rapid COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Dearborn, Mich., in conjunction with federal and state officials. The site will provide state residents with rapid COVID-19 testing and on-the-spot results at no cost, using the new Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test. CVS Health has opened similar large-scale rapid testing sites in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and since March the company has conducted more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests.
Testing in Dearborn will be overseen by licensed health care providers from MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic inside CVS Pharmacy locations, with assistance from CVS pharmacists and will take place in the parking lot at the Henry Ford Centennial Library. Patients will receive results on-site so they can properly quarantine or seek treatment as appropriate. No COVID-19 testing will take place at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations.
More than 35,000 tests conducted since March. (Courtesy of CVS Health)
“We’re delivering on our commitment to helping increase the frequency and efficiency of testing,” said Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, chief medical officer and executive vice president, CVS Health. “By expanding into Michigan we now have five large-scale testing sites open to the public, which enables our dedicated team of healthcare professionals to process thousands of tests every day.”
Rapid COVID-19 testing will be available to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state residency and age guidelines. Patients will need to pre-register in advance online at CVS.com in order to schedule a same-day time slot for testing. To help ensure the safety of both patients and health care providers, the testing site cannot accommodate walk-ups and patients are required to remain in their vehicles throughout the entire testing process.
Dr. Garth Graham, vice president of Community Health and Impact at CVS Health told the AFRO, “Understanding that testing is particularly important in how we identify the rate and the impact of the disease on minority communities is very important. We are expanding our testing overall, and a key component of that is our testing in underserved and multicultural communities that are disproportionately impacted by this disease.”
The new testing site in Dearborn is part of CVS Health’s efforts to expand access to COVID-19 testing to underserved, multicultural communities that are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. For example, while African Americans make up 14 percent of the overall population throughout Michigan, they account for approximately 33 percent of COVID-19 cases and 40 percent of deaths caused by COVID-19 in the state. “We have a long history of working on issues pertaining to disparities in minority and underserved communities,” Dr. Graham said.
To help address this issue, CVS Health is collaborating with organizations serving various minority populations to increase awareness of testing options in their area, including the National Medical Association (NMA). “We’re partnering with the NMA, which is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of African-American physicians, to really support a lot of the efforts around outreach engagement within African-Americans communities,” Dr. Graham explained.
“Our collaboration with CVS Health will help drive more African American community members to rapid COVID-19 testing sites, improving access to necessary care during this crucial time. By working together, we can save lives and bring an end to this public health emergency,” said Dr. Oliver T. Brooks, president of the NMA.
Utilizing its strong network of members and state and local societies, the NMA will help spread the word and encourage individuals to visit CVS Health’s rapid COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in Dearborn, Atlanta and other areas with large multicultural populations.
“Our rapid COVID-19 drive thru testing sites are helping increase access to testing for everybody impacted by the pandemic, but particularly for groups that have existing challenges with access to care,” said Garth Graham, MD, MPH, vice president, Community Health & Impact, CVS Health. “Working with the NMA and other community-based organizations can help us engage with underserved groups in these communities and make sure there is equitable access to testing.”
CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. We’re evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that’s in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings, from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions, are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we’re transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.