The Kroger Co.’s health care division is making COVID-19 testing available to more of its sites ahead of the flu season.
Kroger Health announced the expansion of its COVID-19 testing offerings to more than 220 clinic locations by appointment for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The expansion comes on the heels of the launch of the company's employer-focused COVIDCare testing program. It also occurs before the start of the upcoming flu season, during which many health officials anticipate an increased need for COVID-19 testing.
The clinic testing will mirror the self-administered collection process currently utilized at Kroger Health's community testing locations. Kroger Health's in-store clinics have the capability to test up to 5,000 patients per day.
"We are proud of our drive-thru testing program that provided a quick, interim testing solution, and now we are focused on building testing capability that serves more Americans on an ongoing basis," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health.
Patients can access Kroger Health's free screening tool to determine if testing is appropriate for them and schedule an appointment at krogerhealth.com/clinictesting. Once a patient schedules an appointment, a licensed practitioner will contact them via telehealth or by phone. Clinic locations will offer designated parking for patients and most COVID-19 sample collections can be self-administered under the observation of a Kroger Health professional while patients remain in their vehicles. The company has also instituted additional measures at Kroger Health clinics to safeguard the health and wellbeing of associates, patients and customers, including enhanced air filtration systems.
Since April, Kroger Health has facilitated more than 150,000 COVID-19 tests across 19 states at drive-thru and walk-up testing locations. As the nation prepares to enter flu season, experts say testing will become even more critical to help diagnose COVID-19 amidst potentially similar symptoms.
"COVID-19 and the flu share many of the same symptoms, which could cause added confusion and concern for Americans of all ages," said Marc R. Watkins MD, Kroger Health's chief medical officer. "Kroger Health is ramping up our comprehensive testing efforts to provide our communities with the resources they need stay healthy and flatten the curve."
Kroger Health clinics, currently called The Little Clinic, are available in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.