Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer will be the first retailer to offer at-home COVID-19 PCR tests free of charge to customers at its 254 pharmacies. The new program will be managed through a partnership with eTrueNorth, a testing company that has performed millions of COVID-19 tests at more than 800 sites nationwide.
“We are very pleased to be the first retail pharmacy location to offer this service,” said Jackie Morse, VP of pharmacy. “Our pharmacies have provided many important services throughout the pandemic, and this new COVID-19 testing option is another key example of how we continue to look for ways to help our customers, team members and communities.”
Those interested in obtaining a test must first register by visiting ineedacovid19test.com. After completing an online assessment and selecting a Meijer location, individuals will be provided a voucher that will be used to pick up their test kit. The voucher can be printed or shown on a smartphone.
After performing the self-collection nasal swab, individuals will return the specimen in the specimen bag to the same Meijer pharmacy where they received the test kit and deposit it into a clearly designated drop box at the pharmacy. Specimens must be returned the same day they are collected.
The specimen will then be shipped to a certified laboratory for a PCR analysis. Test results are expected within 48 to 72 hours. The service is available Monday through Friday.
For those with symptoms, tests may be picked up and specimens dropped off by a family member or friend with proof of voucher. Meijer encourages customers who use this service to wear a mask or face covering when picking up a test and returning a specimen to the drop box.
Individuals will receive an email when their test results are available. The test results and a printable report will be available in their account.
“eTrueNorth continues to enable PCR COVID-19 tests across the country since the start of this pandemic through pharmacies,” said Coral May, eTrueNorth CEO. “Providing an option for a PCR test where the individual self-collects their specimen should dramatically increase Americans’ access to COVID-19 testing. We are very thankful to Meijer for being the first retailer to offer these self-collection tests to their customers.”
Meijer operates more than 258 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, the company claims to have pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and it has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics.
For more information, visit meijer.com.
In April 2020, eTrueNorth began its participation in the drive-through COVID-19 testing program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
eTrueNorth is actively recruiting independent and small chain pharmacies to join its network of specimen collection sites to offer COVID-19 testing to Americans. Interested pharmacies should visit etruenorth.com/join.