Adding to its existing test offerings for the disease caused by the coronavirus, Kroger (NYSE:KR) announced Wednesday that rapid COVID-19 antibody tests are now available at its stores that contain pharmacies.
According to the supermarket chain operator, these typically produce results within 15 minutes. They are administered through the drawing of a small blood sample from a finger prick by a healthcare professional working at the pharmacy, and they cost $25 apiece.
Kroger said that the new testing option not only benefits more people wanting to know if they have caught the virus. It also benefits healthcare workers. The company quoted the president of its Kroger Health unit, Colleen Lindholz, as saying:
Making rapid antibody testing available across our family of pharmacies will not only provide an affordable and convenient testing solution for individuals who want to understand if they have previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but also help clinicians understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and potential public health strategies for fighting the disease.
Kroger said that the tests, which are provided by privately held Whitmire Medical, are immediately available at all of its pharmacy locations in California and Michigan. This rollout will expand to all of the company's pharmacies and clinics by the end of November.
Kroger first launched its COVID-19 testing services near the start of the pandemic this past spring. These began with free drive-up tests at its many locations throughout the country.
On Wednesday, Kroger shares did better than the wider equities market. The company's stock declined by less than 0.6% on the day compared to the 3.5% decline of the S&P 500 index.