Maryland will launch 17 new drive-through coronavirus testing sites at CVS Pharmacy locations across the state, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Thursday.
Hogan on Tuesday began allowing pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests in an effort to increase access to testing.
Starting on Friday, Marylanders who meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for COVID-19 testing will be able to schedule a testing appointment at one of 17 CVS locations.
At their appointment time, patients will be directed to pull up to the pharmacy’s drive-through window, where a staff member will give them a self-swab test kit and instructions on how to use it.
Self-swab tests require patients to swirl a swab in each of their nostrils, providing a far less invasive alternative to other tests in which a health professional sticks a long swab down a patient’s nose or throat. The self-swab method also helps reduce the risk of front-line health care workers becoming infected while administering a test and conserves personal protective equipment, the Associated Press reported.
After administering the test to themselves, patients will return the kit to the pharmacy staff.
An independent, third-party lab will then process the test and make the results available in about three days.
Patients cannot be tested inside any retail locations, and they must schedule an appointment to be seen at one of the pharmacy drive-throughs.
Maryland has completed more than 200,000 COVID-19 tests, which Hogan called a “critical milestone.”
Hogan said the new testing sites are another step toward increasing access to testing for Marylanders.
“We will continue working closely with CVS Health and all of our partners in the private sector, along with Maryland’s world-class health care systems and local governments, to protect residents’ health and safety and support our state’s safe and gradual recovery,” he said in a statement.
The 17 test sites in Maryland are among the pharmacy chain’s nearly 350 testing locations across 14 states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.
The company is planning to open a total of 1,000 coronavirus testing sites, with more than half of them serving “communities with the greatest need for support,” as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index, according to a news release.
That index identifies the level of risk that outbreaks and other disasters pose to certain communities.
Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, said his company hopes that the testing sites at CVS locations will increase accessibility.
“While the large-scale test sites we’ve been operating since early April have proven successful, this new approach allows us to utilize our presence in communities across the country and bring testing closer to home,” Merlo said. “Our frontline employees will continue to play a critical role in the testing process, with members of their communities directly benefiting from their dedication and selflessness.”
The testing sites, located across nine of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, include:
Anne Arundel County
- CVS Pharmacy, 2600 Annapolis Road, Severn, MD 21076
- CVS Pharmacy, 157 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD 21146
- CVS Pharmacy, 9519 Philadelphia Road, Baltimore, MD 21237
- CVS Pharmacy, 2560 W. Franklin St., Baltimore, MD 21223
- CVS Pharmacy, 6040 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg, MD 21784
- CVS Pharmacy, 4200 Altamont Place, White Plains, MD 20695
- CVS Pharmacy, 8032 Liberty Road, Frederick, MD 21701
- CVS Pharmacy, 5414 Rotary Ave., New Market, MD 21774
- CVS Pharmacy, 8197 Westside Blvd., Fulton, MD 20759
- CVS Pharmacy, 7809 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
- CVS Pharmacy, 799 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
- CVS Pharmacy, 12215 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Prince George’s County
- CVS Pharmacy, 8201 Annapolis Road, New Carrollton, MD 20784
- CVS Pharmacy, 7600 SE Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
- CVS Pharmacy, 4840 Marlboro Pike, Capitol Heights, MD 20743
- CVS Pharmacy, 5100 Brown Station Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
- CVS Pharmacy, 12001 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842