The Kroger Co. has launched a COVID-19 testing solution for employers.
Kroger Health, the health care division of the nation’s largest supermarket retailer, announced the launch of COVIDCare Plus. The testing program utilizes Kroger’s FDA-authorized at-home test collection kit, which combines self-collection testing with virtual supervision by a licensed health care professional. It is now being sold to companies in 17 states, with more to come.
To date, nearly 1,000 of Kroger employers have given themselves the test, whose results are delivered in 24 to 48 hours.
The launch of the program, which is similar to CVS’s Return Ready, comes as testing delays and slow turnaround times of the results make it hard to track and ultimately stop the spread of the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, demand for testing has tripled while results are taking up to three weeks to deliver in the hardest-hit areas. Speed of reporting results is a critical component to help quell the spread of COVID-19.
"We know testing continues to be a critical pillar in the fight against COVID-19," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. "And yet, our country faces ongoing challenges to keep pace with demand. At Kroger Health, we are grateful to be part of the solution by providing employers with COVID-19 testing that has a short turnaround time. This is paramount to keeping American businesses open and people at work."
Kroger Health's COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit includes a telehealth consultation provided at the time of collection.
Through Kroger Health's strategic partnership with CLIA-certified laboratory Gravity Diagnostics, testing can be administered comfortably at home, with results delivered in 24-48 hours. Samples are collected via mid-turbinate nasal swabs – the same process that Kroger Health has deployed at its COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites, where its multidisciplinary team has collectively administered 150,000 tests.
In addition to COVID-19 testing and management services, COVIDCare Plus will offer employers and their teams access to advanced clinical services like vaccinations, telehealth, and telenutrition. These services are focused on driving behavior change that helps combat the larger crisis of chronic disease that affects nearly half of Americans.
"We are solving for the pandemic while building for the epidemic," Lindholz said. "COVID-19 is our clear focus in the short term and we have a strong plan in place to help drive our country's recovery efforts. However, we know that – now more than ever – a focus on health and wellness needs to become an ongoing way of life for all of us. That's why we are committed to providing organizations with the services we know their employees and stakeholders need to stay healthy."
Kroger Health is the fourth-largest retail healthcare organization in America, with over 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers.