With federal funds restored, Rite Aid reversed an earlier announcement today of an expanded Covid-19 testing program that would come with a $115 cost.
Now, the pharmacy chain will offer free tests to those as young as 13. The minimum age had been 18.
Rite Aid first announced the test’s cost earlier today but later received confirmation of continued federal funding as the surge in Covid-19 cases continues.
The change affects Rite Aid stores offering to test in Bear, Millsboro, Smyrna, and Wilmington.
The State of Delaware has been using select Walgreen locations that still offer free testing. With the recent surge in cases and the Thanksgiving holiday, the Walgreens testing locations have been busy.
Rite Aid still plans to expand testing to an additional 1,000 drive-through locations. The incoming Biden administration has indicated it will expand testing, although it remains unclear what form that might take.
Rite Aid partnered with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in March to provide Covid-19 diagnostic testing.
Rite Aid’s testing locations use self-swab nasal tests overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists, which operate seven days a week.
Preregistration is required through www.riteaid.com to schedule a time slot for testing. Testing will be temporarily unavailable at Rite Aid sites on Thanksgiving and throughout the weekend but will resume on December 1.
The expanded program allows parents or legal guardians of individuals 13-18 years of age. Parents or legal guardians must provide consent for individuals under 18, show their government-issued identification, and must accompany their children to the appointment and supervise them during the test, a Rite Aid release stated.
“We’re proud to continue serving as an essential part of the pandemic response in the neighborhoods we serve,” said Heyward Donigan, CEO, Rite Aid. “Making testing available – and now, to a broader age range – is an important next step in continuing to fight Covid-19.”
BioReference Laboratories provides Covid-19 laboratory testing, while PWNHealth, a national clinician network, provides clinical oversight.