A drive through rapid test kit drop box being used by a customer at at CVS Pharmacy location.

COVID-19 testing information

Learn more about the the various ways we are making COVID-19 testing accessible.

A drive through rapid test kit drop box being used by a customer at at CVS Pharmacy location.

Ways we are making COVID-19 testing accessible

Since the pandemic began, we have administered more than 54 million COVID-19 tests. 

Find COVID-19 testing at a CVS Pharmacy location near you

Return Ready™ solution to help reopen worksites and university campuses

During the height of the pandemic, as a result of shelter-in-place directives, many businesses had to alter or temporarily shutter their worksites and many universities closed down their campuses, sending students home. These organizations now require a comprehensive strategy to help their workforces and student bodies return to worksites and campuses and CVS Health has a role to play through our flexible Return Ready solution, which offers:

  • Customized COVID-19 testing strategy that allows organizations to choose who, how, and where to test employees or students through a combination of onsite rapid testing and/or drive-thru testing at CVS Pharmacy locations.

  • Clinician-informed protocols and guidance for symptom checking and temperature screenings;

  • Onsite licensed professionals for COVID-19 testing and support;

  • Turnkey toolkits for employee and student communications;

  • Digital tools for test scheduling and sharing of results;

  • Integrated reporting and analytics across multiple testing locations;

  • Option for an onsite immunization clinic with CDC-recommended vaccination services, such as the seasonal flu vaccine; and

  • Access to add-on solutions such as thermal scanners, digital symptom monitoring and contact tracing technology.

COVID-19 testing at select CVS Pharmacy locations

Our CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic® locations are uniquely positioned to help address the pandemic and protect people’s health by bringing safe and effective testing options closer to home and helping increase access to testing options for even more individuals.

  • We have established testing sites at more than 4,800 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country, including nearly 1,000 of which provide rapid-result testing. Find a location near you.

  • Available at no-cost for people with and without health insurance coverage.

  • COVID-19 testing will be available to eligible individuals. A physician’s referral is not required.

  • Patients must register in advance on CVS.com to schedule an appointment for a test. When booking an appointment online, the site will indicate if your selected location is a rapid-result testing location or a drive-thru testing location.

Drive-thru testing

  • When patients arrive for their appointment, they are required to stay in their cars and go to the CVS Pharmacy drive-thru window to complete their test. 

  • Testing is supervised by a local MinuteClinic provider, and CVS Pharmacy team members oversee the collection of specimens at the drive-thru window.

  • Specimens are sent to independent, third-party labs for processing. On average, test results are typically available in 2-3 days, but may take longer due to the current surge in COVID-19.

  • For additional information and to read frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 testing process, please visit the COVID-19 testing page at CVS.com.

Rapid-result testing

  • For patients at a rapid-result testing location should follow signage or the instructions of the staff onsite. Procedures vary by location and patients may be directed to stay in their vehicles and proceed to a designated testing structure located in the parking lot or, in limited locations, to enter a CVS store through a doorway specifically allocated for this purpose.

  • Patients will be provided with a test kit, given instructions, and a CVS Health team member will observe the self-swab process.

  • Patients will be directed to wait in their personal vehicle for their results. The process, from the collection of the swab to the delivery of the results, will generally take approximately 30 minutes.

  • For additional information and to read frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 testing process, please visit the COVID-19 testing page at CVS.com.

Community-based testing for underserved neighborhoods

More than half of CVS Health’s testing sites are located in counties that serve moderate to high needs communities, as measured by the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index. The index tracks a variety of census variables including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that may weaken a community’s ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

Underserved and multicultural communities are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. To help address this issue, CVS Health partnered with national organizations such as the National Medical Association; local community groups, including free and charitable clinics and community colleges; state governments and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand community-based testing in underserved areas in 11 cities.

These community-based test sites are located at the facilities of our partner organizations, enabling us to tap into their networks to expand testing in areas of greatest need and reach people who may not otherwise have easy access to testing. These testing sites are designed to help reduce barriers that may limit access to testing for local residents, including:

  • Appointments are made by phone, so lack of internet access is not a barrier.

  • Each site can accommodate walk-up testing, so access to a vehicle is not required.

  • Signage is offered in English and Spanish.

  • Testing is available to patients at no cost.

Long-term care (LTC) facilities testing

We recognize the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as residents of these facilities represent one of the most vulnerable patient populations to the virus, and we are determined to be part of the solution. As a leader in the LTC industry, Omnicare, a CVS Health company, is committed to supporting this vulnerable patient population by providing access to safe and effective testing options for residents and staff at these facilities. It is a critical component of Omnicare’s broader response to the pandemic.

  • Omnicare is working with several states, including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas, to provide COVID-19 testing at LTC facilities throughout these states.

    • As one example, in partnership with the state of Texas, Omnicare is providing same day testing and results for both facility staff and residents, with a goal of administering up to 100,000 tests during the next month of testing.

  • Omnicare clinical team members oversee the testing together with CVS Pharmacy team members who are on-site at the LTC facility to collect samples and deliver results for residents and staff on the same day.

  • These collaborations help increase access to testing in nursing homes statewide, and specifically those facilities that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

  • We continue to explore additional state-specific solutions to address the unique COVID-19 testing needs of the LTC industry.

Large-scale rapid COVID-19 test sites

In March 2020, CVS Health piloted a drive-through COVID-19 test site in a parking lot at a CVS Pharmacy store in Shrewsbury, MA. This pilot provided the company with a number of key learnings, which helped inform the company’s ability to improve on and maximize drive-through testing for consumers.

In April 2020, CVS Health joined forces with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and state governments in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Rhode Island to help increase access to rapid COVID-19 testing at large-scale sites in publicly accessible areas. Each site operated seven days a week, providing results to patients on-site, through the end of June 2020.