At at-home coronavirus test collection kit from Kroger Health received emergency use authorization by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the company.
The testing kit combines telehealth with at-home testing and will be available to frontline associates across the company based on medical need starting this week.
Kroger Health plans to quickly expand availability to other companies and organizations in the coming weeks and aims to process up 60,000 test per week by the end of the month.
“Over the past few months, Kroger Health has been providing Americans with access to COVID-19 testing through community test sites across the country; however, we've observed some individuals do not have access to transportation or live near these community testing locations,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “To help ease this burden and provide greater accessibility, we will be offering a home testing solution to our associates first followed by other companies and organizations.”
The test will be free to patient who meet the criteria for a likely coronavirus infection or exposure.
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Patients will have access to a website where they will answer screening questions, input their organization’s benefit code and an individual code. If the patient qualifies for testing, they will be issued a prescription and the testing kit will be shipping to their home within one to two days.
The collection kid includes a nasal swab, transport vial, instructions, prepaid shipping label and packing material for the test to be shipped to the lab.
Once the patient receives the testing kit, a health care professional will guide them through collecting a sample using telehealth, a two-way video chat.
The patient will then ship the sample to the lab for processing, which will take on average a day or two.
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A health care professional will call any patient who tests positive for coronavirus and offer recommended care. Negative test results will be released to the patient’s online medical record portal unless the patient does not consent to use of the portal.
Test results will only be accessible to the patient. The results will not be shared with the patient’s organization unless the patient authorizes the release of their results.
All results will be reported to government health agencies as required by law.
“As our country experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases, physical distancing, wearing protective masks and testing remains paramount to flattening the curve,” said Jim Kirby, senior director of Kroger Health. “We know flexible, accessible testing options like home solutions that leverage telehealth technology are critical to accelerating America's reopening and recovery.”
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The at-home testing kit will be available in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. The test will be available in additional states in the coming weeks.