Kroger COVID tests address complaints of delays in getting results

  • Kroger has developed an at-home COVID-19 testing kit that uses a nasal swab.
  • The test delivers results within 24-48 hours, solving for one of Americans’ biggest complaints about coronavirus testing: slow turnaround times for results. 
  • Kroger is now offering the kits and a suit of other services to employers as part of a program called COVIDCare Plus. 
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Kroger has developed a COVID-19 testing program to help address complaints about severe backlogs in the delivery of test results. 

Nearly six months into the pandemic, availability of COVID-19 tests has improved, but many people across the country are still waiting weeks for their results. 

In response, Kroger partnered with the lab Gravity Diagnostics to develop an at-home test capable of returning results in 24-48 hours. Kroger is now pitching the tests, along with a suite of clinical services like vaccinations and telehealth, to employers. Kroger is calling the program COVIDCare Plus.

“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.”

Employers will be responsible for the cost of the program, according to Kroger spokeswoman Kristal Howard. 

Here’s how the tests work:

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  • Patients use a website to answer screening questions and enter codes associated with their organization and identity (such as an employee ID).
  • If the patient qualifies for a test, the kit will be shipped to their homes within 24 to 48 hours.
  • “The kit includes a nasal swab, transport vial, instruction sheet, prepaid shipping label, and packing materials for return shipment of the sample to the laboratory,” Kroger said.
  • Once a patient receives the kit, they will be guided through the test by a healthcare professional via a two-way video chat. 
  • The patient will then send their sample via overnight shipping to a laboratory for processing. Results will be delivered in 24 to 48 hours.

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