As of 3:35 p.m. on Monday, shares of Rite Aid (RAD -0.74%) had traded up as much as 17.6%. While investors have been concerned with the company's long-term prospects for much of the last year, they cheered the news that Rite Aid is expanding the availability of its COVID-19 testing to more sites.
A full 24 Rite Aid locations now offer testing across eight states, in what the company calls "key hot spots."
One of the keys to reopening the U.S. economy is widespread coronavirus testing. Washington, D.C., has sought to partner with the private sector, and Rite Aid is part of the solution. People who meet certain CDC guidelines can be tested for free at Rite Aid's drive-up testing locations. Participants must remain in their vehicles for the testing process.
Each testing location will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will accommodate up to 200 tests per day. This brings current capability to 4,800 tests daily. This is in line with the 5,000 daily tests Rite Aid previously pledged to the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Laboratories conducting COVID-19 diagnostic tests are being reimbursed $100 per administered test. Rite Aid is partnered with BioReference Laboratories, a subsidiary of Opko Health (OPK 0.63%), which also popped with today's news. While Rite Aid investors are clearly enthusiastic, it's unclear what the compensation will be for providing the testing sites.