Kroger Health is partnering with Kentucky-based Gravity Diagnostics to provide a kit allowing people to test themselves for COVID-19 at home. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted an Emergency Use Authorization for the COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit, which Kroger says involves a telehealth consultation to improve the quality of the collection process.
Kroger says the kit will be available to front line associates throughout its family of companies based on medical need. The grocery retailer says it hopes to process up to 60,000 tests per week by the end of July.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our associates and our customers has remained our top priority,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “Over the past few months, Kroger Health has been providing Americans with access to COVID-19 testing through community test sites across the country; however, we’ve observed some individuals do not have access to transportation or live near these community testing locations. To help ease this burden and provide greater accessibility, we will be offering a home testing solution to our associates first followed by other companies and organizations.”
Kroger says the collection process will be available at no cost to eligible patients who meet “established clinical criteria for likely COVID-19 infection or exposure.” The kits include a nasal swab, transport vial, instruction sheet, and prepaid shipping materials to return the test to the laboratory.
After the test is administered and shipped to the lab, Kroger says the results will be available within 24-48 hours.
“As our country experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases, physical distancing, wearing protective masks and testing remains paramount to flattening the curve,” said Jim Kirby, senior director of Kroger Health. “We know flexible, accessible testing options like home solutions that leverage telehealth technology are critical to accelerating America’s reopening and recovery.”
Kroger says the kit will initially be available in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia, with more states being added “in the coming weeks.”