CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. this month said that the Food and Drug Administration had authorized use of its COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit, which includes a nasal swab, transport vial, instruction sheet, prepaid shipping label and packing materials for return shipment of the sample to a laboratory.
The testing solution combines the safety and convenience of at-home sample collection with the expert guidance of a telehealth consultation to help improve the quality of the collection process, the company said in a statement.
The kits were initially made available to frontline associates at Kroger’s stores, based on “medical need.” Kroger said that its health care unit, Kroger Health, intended to rapidly expand the kits’ availability to other companies and organizations. Kroger was hoping that up to 60,000 tests would be processed each week by July 31.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our associates and our customers has remained our top priority,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. “Kroger Heath remains committed to helping people live healthier lives through our multidisciplinary team of licensed, trained and experienced health care providers. Over the past few months, Kroger Health has been providing Americans with access to COVID-19 testing through community test sites across the country; however, we’ve observed some individuals do not have access to transportation or live near these community testing locations. To help ease this burden and provide greater accessibility, we will be offering a home testing solution to our associates first followed by other companies and organizations.”
Kroger said the kits are available at no cost to individuals who meet established clinical criteria for likely COVID-19 infection or exposure. The individuals will be provided access to a website where they will answer screening questions, input appropriate benefits information and complete a clinical assessment. Home collection kits will be shipped to qualifying individuals within 24 to 48 hours. At the laboratory, the collection undergoes a molecular diagnostic test, designed to detect parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can diagnose active infections.