The Kroger Co. is taking the lead on pandemic response by expanding its free COVID-19 testing program to four more states.
The food retailer’s drive-through testing program has expanded to Colorado, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, Kroger said Thursday.
Those testing sites join existing locations in Kentucky and Tennessee. Kroger also said it “will begin piloting site-specific testing for Kroger associates in Michigan and Colorado, while also empowering its own pharmacists to initiate the lab order and observe self-administered testing where allowable by applicable law. “Testing sites are generally located off site at closed schools, businesses and public grounds in partnership with local communities,” Kroger said.
Users of the free testing service remain in their cars during the process, which takes “just a few minutes using self-administered test kits,” Kroger said. “The test uses self-administered nasal swabs, which are less painful and designed to increase safety.”
The free testing is meant for health care workers, first responders and people with COVID-19 symptoms. Offering this testing involves Kroger partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Kentucky, eTrueNorth and Gravity Diagnostics, and offered via the company’s Kroger Health unit.
"At Kroger Health, we are proud to be part of the solution by enabling more Americans – including our own associates – to have access to testing while continuing to provide a safe environment within our stores. We welcome this opportunity to expand our efforts in our nation's battle against COVID-19," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health.
Kroger recently released a coronavirus crisis guide designed for use by a variety of retailers. Elements of that document are available now for the retail sector on KrogerBlueprint.com, including a 17-page PDF and downloadable creative assets including in-store signs and audio files.
Based in Cincinnati, Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,769 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.