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CVS to offer self-swab tests at two Longs Drugs drive-thru windows starting Friday

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                                John Mizuno


    John Mizuno

CVS Health, which owns Longs Drugs in Hawaii, will begin offering self-swab tests for COVID-19 to qualified individuals at two of its stores on Oahu, starting Friday.

The self-swab tests will only be available at the drive-thru windows of two Longs Drugs locations — 1077 Ainamakua Drive in Mililani and 1130 Kuala St. in Pearl City.

CVS Health, which had earlier announced the rollout of the self-swab tests across the U.S., said it will offer them to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. CVS plans to establish 1,000 sites across more than 30 states and Washington, D.C.

“CVS Health has been at the forefront of helping our nation scale-up COVID-19 testing capabilities, and we’re proud to meet our goal of establishing 1,000 testing sites in communities across the country,” Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health, said in a news release. “Opening access to testing in more locations using our drive-thru window represents an important milestone in our response to the pandemic. We remain grateful for the daily efforts and sacrifices of our front-line colleagues who make the continued expansion of our testing possible.”

The testing will be scheduled online, and take place in the parking lots or at drive-thru windows of select CVS Pharmacy locations. No testing will take place in-store.

The company’s goal is to process up to 1.5 million tests per month, subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.

Patients must register in advance at beginning Friday to schedule an appointment.

They will be required to stay in their cars, and be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions.

The swabbing is done just inside the nose, not deeply, according to a CVS spokeswoman. A pharmacy team member will observe the process to ensure it is done properly. Patients then place the swab in a bag and leave it in a locked box.

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

CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

State Rep. John Mizuno, chairman of the House Health Committee, commended CVS in a news release last month for significantly expanding COVID-19 testing capabilities.

Mizuno said many minorities have been disproportionately affected by the virus, and that expanded testing with greater accuracy was vital to the reopening of Hawaii.

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