MAINE, USA — In April, CVS Health announced it would be setting up coronavirus testing sites across the country. The goal was to set up 1,000 locations across the U.S. to be able to process 1.5 million tests per month by the end of May. The drug store company announced Thursday that four of those sites will be in Maine. The drive-thru testing sites will be opening on Friday, May 29 in Augusta, Biddeford, Portland, and South Portland.
CVS says self-swab tests will be available to individuals who meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria, in addition to state and age guidelines. Maine recently eliminated testing prioritization, allowing anyone who suspects COVID-19 to seek testing.
In order to be tested at one of the drive-thru sites, patients must register in advance to schedule an appointment.
Patients will be required to stay in their cars and will be directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window, where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.
Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB, and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.
The new testing sites in Maine include:
- CVS Pharmacy, 24 Stone Street, Augusta, ME 04330
- CVS Pharmacy, 384 Elm Street, Biddeford, ME 04005
- CVS Pharmacy, 111 Auburn Street, Portland, ME 04103
- CVS Pharmacy, 51 Market Street, South Portland, ME 04106
CVS said the locations for its testing sites are determined based on the areas with the greatest need, measured by the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. The index tracks a variety of census variables including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that may weaken a community’s ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.
Social Vulnerability Index for Cumberland County:
“Expanded testing is a critical component to protecting the health of Maine people,” Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement. “I welcome this announcement and applaud CVS for creating these drive-through sites, which will make testing more accessible to more people.”
The drive-thru tests are subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity, CVS says. Maine recently announced a partnership with IDEXX Labs, that triples the State’s testing capacity.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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