If you’re looking to get tested for COVID-19 but don’t want to be in close proximity to people, Walmart has a solution. The retail giant has partnered with Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp, a nationwide drone services provider, to deliver free at-home self-collection kits to single-family residences within a 1-mile radius of its Supercenters in North Las Vegas and Cheektowaga, New York.
“Walmart has been serving the North Las Vegas community throughout the pandemic with drive-thru testing sites, and we wanted to provide another way to access testing that provides convenience and leverages technology while learning how drones could impact the delivery of healthcare in the future,” said Amanda Jenkins, Vice President of Operation Support and Implementation, Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness “We are grateful to our Quest and DroneUp partners, and our pharmacists and associates, for their support in launching the pilot as we continue to work together during the pandemic.”
The service, which launched in North Las Vegas this past Tuesday, hopes to make a case for the convenience of drone delivery in strenuous times. Trial deliveries will begin in Cheektowaga starting early October. Those who qualify to receive kits by meeting CDC guidelines can place an order between 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, while supplies last, and get their kit that same day – weather and visibility permitting.
The drone will drop a package containing the kit on the customer’s driveway, front porch, or in their back yard depending on where potential obstacles, including cars and trees, are located. Once the customer has received their kit, they’ll perform a self-administered test and send it back to Quest Diagnostics with a prepaid shipping label. The specimen will be examined and results will be reported on MyQuest, a secure patient portal that can be accessed online.
“Quest Diagnostics is proud to partner with Walmart and DroneUp on this innovative pilot program to examine how drones could deliver health care to patients who are unable to leave their home or live in remote locations,” said Dan Haemmerle, General Manager of Extended Care at Quest Diagnostics. “We will take the learnings from this pilot and enhance the ways we deliver health care services to the patients we serve.”
“Collaborating to deliver self-collection kits offers further investment into solutions that will advance safe and effective drone delivery,” said Tom Walker, Founder & CEO of DroneUp. “We are honored to partner with Walmart and Quest to pioneer these deliveries and equally as proud to serve our communities.”
Qualifying patients interested in getting tested, who are 18 years or older, are encouraged to visit www.GetDroneTest.com for more information. Walmart does not administer COVID-19 tests inside its Supercenters.