New CVS Health COVID testing site aims to address access inequities

Coronavirus

CVS Health increases access to COVID testing for underserved communities

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With CDC data continuing to suggest underserved communities have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic, CVS Health has opened a new COVID-19 testing site amid the delta variant surge.

The new drive-thru site at CVS Health’s 12555 NW Cornell Rd location aims to help address care inequities by increasing free testing access for Portland’s more vulnerable communities.

“The facility at the CVS off Cornell is an underserved community,” Shazia Zafar Pharmacy Manager with CVS Health told KOIN 6 News. “So, the hope is to increase testing access so we can have proper therapies and treatments and proper quarantine time to get past this pandemic.”

Zafar told KOIN 6 News the site comes at an ideal time, as testing is currently in high demand and many don’t have access to lab testing services.

CVS Health COVID-19 testing drive thru site (Courtesy: CVS Health)

According to Zafar, the ease of the test and the quick results make this site a safe and efficient option for patients.

“Being our only drive-thru CVS pharmacy in the community, it offers patients an opportunity to stay in their cars and not have to come out when they’re experiencing possible COVID symptoms,” Zafar explained. “It’s a guided self-nasal test provided by the CVS pharmacy staff, it’s pretty quick and results are ideally provided within in 1-2 business days to the patient directly.”

Tests are sent to an independent third-party lab for processing in contract with CVS and are completely free to patients.

“It is no cost to the patients whatsoever,” said Zafar. “And we are not billing their insurance as this is being funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.”

In addition to the newest site in Portland, CVS Health is offering COVID-19 testing at more than 4,800 locations throughout 35 states. Companywide, CVS has administered over 29 million COVID-19 tests across the country.

Testing is by appointment only, with advanced registration available online at the CVS website.

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