For months, consumers have been able to get COVID-19 tests and vaccinations administered by health professionals at Kroger stores, but now they can buy an over-the-counter (OTC) test for the virus. Today, the Kroger Health division of The Kroger Co. announced that it is launching the OTC SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test that can be purchased without a prescription at all of its locations and, soon, online at Kroger.com.
Consumers can perform the test at home and get results within 15 minutes without having to send samples to a laboratory. The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test can be used by asymptomatic or symptomatic people.
"The U.S. has made tremendous strides in the battle with COVID-19, with vaccination efforts proving successful, yet testing continues to be a critical pillar in the fight against this public health crisis," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. "We know Americans will greatly benefit from having access to affordable, at-home testing to support diagnostic needs, and Kroger Health is grateful that we can continue to be part of the solution by providing access to diagnostic testing as well as administering COVID-19 vaccines."
In addition to selling the rapid at-home test directly to its consumers, Kroger Health plans to work with employers and organizations to offer the test to their respective workforces as a way to re-open businesses as the acute phase of the crisis is easing.
Meanwhile, Chicago-based Abbott is planning to expand the availability of this test, which has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization.
"This virus remains unpredictable, which is why we can't let our guard down on testing, especially as people get back to seeing more of each other in a variety of spaces like workplaces, schools, and family events," said Andrea F. Wainer, EVP of Abbott's rapid and molecular diagnostics business. "Abbott will continue making its BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test available in more national retail settings like Kroger so that people can quickly and easily find the test and get back to living their pre-pandemic lifestyles with more assurance."
Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., is one of America's leading retail healthcare organizations, with over 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers. Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.