Since Rite Aid opened the state’s first pharmacy drive-thru COVID testing site on Wednesday, 150 people have been tested.
But pharmacy representatives say the Rite Aid in Smyrna has the capacity to test many more people and are urging those with mild symptoms to sign up and take part in the program. The free tests will continue for the next five to six weeks.
Today 25 people pulled through the mobile drive-thru lanes at the site, which is open seven days a week.
“It’s been a great response. But we would like more and more patients to come in because tests are available,” said Pooja Gupta, regional pharmacy leader for Rite Aid in Delaware. Responses have typically varied from 3o to 65 patients in one day.
Rite Aid in Smyrna is capable of handling up to 400 tests per day.
Gupta says she knows asymptomatic people — especially essential workers who come in close contact with others — would also like to take advantage of the free testing. “As we are going through this every day, things are rapidly changing, and CDC might open it for asymptomatic people as well,” she said.
Testing is taking place in the store’s parking lot, and people need to remain in their car the entire time.
There are now 25 Rite Aid drive-up COVID-19 testing sits in the country, and each utilizes self-swab nasal tests overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists. Results are available in between two and seven days.
The new testing eliminates one step in the COVID-19 testing process — a doctor’s prescription is not required.
However, pre-registration is required by 1 pm the day prior. To get tested, click here to pre-register for a time slot.
Many people have simply walked into the Rite Aid in Smyrna curious about the testing and asking if they might qualify. “Rite Aid pharmacists and associates have been very helpful to patients, asking about their symptoms and helping them sign up on their phones,” said Gupta.
Screening is geared toward only those with mild symptoms or those who may have had possible exposure to someone who has tested positive.
The pre-registration includes a survey about yourself, including age, gender, home address, contact information, recent travel history, current health status, and any known contact with others who may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
Results are emailed to patients and shared with the Delaware Division of Public Health, which tracks cases and conducts contact tracing.
Gupta says Rite Aid’s decision to place a testing site in Smyrna was made in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in conjunction with the White House COVID task force.
“I feel that Rite Aid has always been on the front lines to protect our community. Having a COVID site here exemplifies that. Only through testing can we get COVID under control,” she said.