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COVID-19: Walgreens expanding drive-thru testing to Tennessee

Earns Walgreens
Posted at 12:04 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 13:19:27-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Walgreens announced it’s expanding drive-thru testing for COVID-19 to seven states, including Tennessee.

The company says the 15 locations are being finalized with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and are planned for select hot spot markets with escalating rates of COVID-19 cases.

The new testing sites will utilize Abbott’s new ID NOW COVID-19 test, which delivers positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results within 13 minutes.

They hope to test up to 3,000 people per day across these new sites, which are expected to be activated beginning later this week.

Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Patients need to pre-register in advance in order to schedule an appointment.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.