Local Rite Aids to offer COVID-19 testing for anyone over 18, no doctor’s note or symptoms needed

Remember in March when President Trump announced a partnership with Google to create a nationwide coronavirus testing website (or something along those lines), but nothing seemed to come of it? Well, it’s here. Verily, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet, has partnered with Rite Aid to offer testing in several states. It’s now expanding to Rite Aid locations at 351 Flatbush Avenue in Kingston and 709 Main St. Poughkeepsie.

At the same time, former screening guidelines — such as the need to be a member of a vulnerable demographic, have had contact with someone already diagnosed, and be ill with COVID symptoms — have been dropped. Beginning Sunday, May 10, anyone over the age of 18 can make an appointment on Rite Aid’s website.  Appointments will begin the following day.

Unlike at other mobile testing locations, the tests are administered by the patient.

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Patients will arrive at their appointed time and receive a self-test kit through the drive-through drawer. Testing will be completed in the confines of the patient’s car, sealed by the patient, and then handed back to the Rite Aid pharmacists through the drawer. Alternatively, some sites may use a drop box type kiosk for testing to be deposited and collected by Rite Aid personnel to minimize contact. (It’s not clear which method the Kingston location will use.)

The program has come under criticism for privacy concerns. We’re all used to filling out extensive forms at the point of service for health care, but being required to sign into a Google account before doing so may give some pause.