CVS Health To Open More Than 50 COVID-19 Test Sites Today

CVS Health Corp. is set to open more that 50 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites today at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across five states – Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

These sites will use self-swab tests and mark the next phase of the company’s COVID-19 testing strategy.

The healthcare provider is expecting to scale this up to 1,000 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites by end of May, processing up to 1.5 million tests per month based on the lab capacity and the availability of supplies.

The Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register online in advance at beginning Friday, May 15 to schedule an appointment.

The individuals need to stay in their cars while approaching pharmacy drive-thru window to receive the test kit and instructions will be given by a CVS Pharmacy team member, who will also observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. The sample will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.

CVS said the COVID-19 testing will take place in parking lots or at drive-thru windows and will not take place inside any of their retail locations. CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic locations will continue to serve customers and patients.

Since early April, the company has been successfully operating large-scale COVID-19 drive-thru rapid test sites in coordination with five states, which can process a total of nearly 30,000 tests per week. These sites in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Rhode Island are using the new Abbott ID NOW point-of-care COVID-19 tests.

The Abbott ID NOW test received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the fastest available molecular point-of-care test for the detection of COVID-19. Positive results can be delivered in as little as five minutes and negative results in as little as 13 minutes.

However, the FDA on Thursday warned the public about possible accuracy concerns with Abbott ID NOW test. Specifically, the FDA said the test may return false negative results. This test can still be used as it can correctly identify many positive cases in minutes, but negative results may need to be confirmed with a high-sensitivity authorized molecular test, the FDA added.

The FDA is investigating whether the inaccuracy could be due to the types of swabs used or the type of viral transport media, which is the material used to transport the patient’s specimen. The agency has received 15 adverse event reports.

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CDC recommends everyone voluntarily wear a mask in public

New York (CNN)New Hampshire received more than half a million face masks on Saturday, courtesy of Boeing and inventor Dean Kamen.

Boeing’s 737-700 aircraft flew nearly 540,000 medical-grade face masks from China to Manchester-Boston Regional airport, as part of a deal coordinated by Kamen, who brought 91,000 pounds of personal protective equipment to the state last weekend. Kamen obtained the face masks from manufacturers in China through his company DEKA Research and Development, Corp.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, along with Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun, Kamen, and congressional members from the state, were on-site at the airport to greet and unload the aircraft filled with PPE.

    The state purchased the shipment of personal protective equipment and will be distributing supplies to areas across the states that need it most.
    There will be no costs for recipients, and Boeing is covering the cost of transporting the equipment from China. The trip also marks Boeing’s first Covid-19 response mission using a company-owned corporate 737-700, the company said. The supply distribution is a part of New Hampshire’s ongoing efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

      “Another life-saving delivery of PPE has arrived in New Hampshire,” said Sununu. “The state will deliver these masks to the greatest areas of need across New Hampshire so those on the frontline have the necessary resources to fight COVID19.”
      Boeing has plans to carry out more Covid-19 transport missions in the future, using its Boeing Dreamlifter and ecoDemonstrator aircraft. The company says it has been working closely with US government officials on how to best assist areas with the greatest need.
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      DoJ, HHS To Distribute About 192,000 Confiscated N95 Respirator Masks

      The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) which are confiscated, including about 192,000 N95 respirator to the frontline health care workers in New York and New Jersey who are combating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

      More than half a million of PPE and medical supplies were confiscated from hoarders and price gougers during an enforcement operation conducted by the DoJ’s COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force on Monday.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) discovered the supplies and alerted the HHS which confiscated them and handed it over for distribution in the U.S. However, the HHS will pay the owner of the hoarded equipment pre-COVID-19 fair market value for the supplies.

      Apart from the N95 masks, the hoarded products included 598,000 medical grade gloves and 130,000 surgical masks, procedure masks, N100 masks, surgical gowns, disinfectant towels, particulate filters, bottles of hand sanitizer, and bottles of spray disinfectant.

      The U.S. has been facing a severe shortage of PPE such as N95 mask, which blocks at least 95 percent of very small test particles, as the coronavirus cases skyrocket in the U.S., and the doctors, nurses other frontline healthcare workers and volunteers are forced to work without masks or reuse them.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC does not recommend that the general public wear N95 respirator masks to protect themselves from such illness. They are, rather for healthcare workers.

      Across the United States, confirmed coronavirus cases have exceeded 245,500 and the death toll has risen to over 6,000, as of this writing. New York continues to be the worst-hit state in the U.S. Worldwide, more than 1,026,900 people have been infected and over 53,900 people have died of the novel coronavirus so far, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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