In partnership with the government's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Rite Aid ( RAD 3.17% ) is increasing the number of drive-thru locations where individuals can get free tests for the coronavirus. In a press release, the big pharmacy chain said 99 new locations would begin operations today. These are in 12 states, including New York, Ohio, and California.
Anyone age 13 or older is eligible for the tests, which consist of self-administered nasal swabs. As with the existing locations, the new sites will be staffed by Rite Aid pharmacists and operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
All patients must fill out a screening form and schedule a time slot via Rite Aid's website. They will also be required to show a government-issued ID. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
All told, Rite Aid operates 400 testing sites across 16 states. As with the screening form and scheduling portal, the testing locations are available on the company's website. In its press release, Rite Aid stressed that it "has adequate capacity to test symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals 13 years and older who want to be tested."
In addition to its partnership with HHS, Rite Aid is offering the free testing with the support and collaboration with several companies active in the diagnostics segment, among them OPKO Health's BioReference Laboratories.
Rite Aid has been in the spotlight with healthcare investors recently due to the quite better-than-expected third-quarter results it announced last week. But it seems there is some doubt as to whether that overperformance is sustainable; on Tuesday, the stock fell by 9.3%, well exceeding the 0.2% decline of the S&P 500 index.