Kroger (NYSE:KR) is aiming to keep America healthy as well as fed. The supermarket chain operator announced Monday that its Kroger Health unit is building out its COVID-19 testing services to over 12 states.
This expansion will allow Kroger Health to conduct as many as 100,000 tests by the end of next month. So far, Kroger says, the unit has conducted almost 8,000 at 30 locations in six states -- Colorado, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio. The company did not specify which new states would be included in the expansion.
Similar to other pharmacy chains Kroger Health offers the drive-up tests, in which the patients remain in their vehicle for the duration, free of charge. Healthcare professionals working for the company administer the entire process. Kroger said the tests only take several minutes to complete.
In its testing efforts, Kroger is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Public-Private Testing Partnership, an initiative that aims to marry government and business resources to contain the spread of COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
The company said HHS is providing access to testing kits and the laboratory resources to analyze results; Kroger Health, in turn, is providing the personnel to administer the tests. Key equipment is being provided by healthcare services specialist eTrueNorth.
Kroger Health has set up an online screening tool for individuals to determine if they should receive a test. Through the tool, they can also determine available dates and locations for testing.
Kroger stock closed up marginally higher on Monday, only slightly lagging behind the major equities indexes on the day.