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12/13/2020

Hy-Vee Pharmacists, Technicians Doing Rapid COVID Testing Will Get More Benefits

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Hy-Vee Pharmacists, Technicians Doing Rapid COVID Testing to Get More Benefits Drive-Thru Bonuses
Hy-Vee will offer rapid antigen testing at a total of 47 pharmacy locations through an outdoor drive-thru process similar to that seen above.

Hy-Vee Inc. pharmacists and technicians taking part in the grocer’s rapid antigen COVID-19 testing program will be offered an additional bonus for their participation. Full-time pharmacists who administer the tests will get a $500 bonus, while part-time pharmacists and technicians who do so will get $250.

These payments are in addition to the $23.3 million in front-line employee appreciation bonuses that Hy-Vee has paid to all retail employees so far, as well as the company’s forthcoming 10% employee bonus on all hours worked during this year’s holiday season, Dec. 21, 2020, through Jan. 10, 2021.

As well as bonuses, Hy-Vee offers protected leave for all employees who either test positive for COVID-19 and/or are required by health officials to self-quarantine. This benefit provides job protection for at least two weeks and applies to all employees, no matter how long they’ve worked for the company. Further, Hy-Vee employees participating in the company’s short-term disability benefit will get a minimum of two weeks paid time off. All full-time employees also have access to free telehealth services, which include mental health. The company will pay 100% of the costs for all full-time employees and their dependents who use the 24-hour virtual medical service. Additionally, in 2020, all Hy-Vee employees began receiving a minimum 10% discount on their groceries every day.

What’s more, as the rapid antigen testing program gets underway, Hy-Vee will provide all personal protective equipment and scrubs, as well as additional uniform clothing for various weather conditions, as its pharmacists and technicians perform the tests in heated drive-up facilities separate from Hy-Vee stores.

“Between testing and vaccine administration, Hy-Vee’s pharmacists and technicians are vital in the fight against this pandemic,” noted Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president. “We are very much aware of the sacrifices every essential worker, especially those administering COVID-19 tests, must make as they go to work every day. We want to do everything we can to ensure their safety and well-being, in addition to showing our appreciation for the role they play in this public-health crisis.”

Hy-Vee will offer rapid antigen testing at a total of 47 pharmacy locations through an outdoor drive-thru process. Patients can receive same-day test results one-two hours after completing the nasopharyngeal swab test. Those who want a rapid antigen test need to register ahead of time online to schedule a testing time.

Hy-Vee also offers free COVID-19 lab testing (molecular PCR), which is patient administered but observed by the grocer’s pharmacists for appropriate technique. This test is performed outside 180-plus pharmacy locations, with results usually available in three to five business days.

Hy-Vee is also currently seeking more than 1,000 pharmacy technicians to help with testing and COVID-19 vaccine administration, once it becomes available.  

Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 265 retail stores across eight Midwestern states. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 33 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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