EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Drone deliveries of COVID-19 at-home self-collection kits are coming to El Paso. The kit includes a device for nasal swab collection.
Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp partnered up for the program, where drones will deliver the kits to single-family homes within 1.5 miles of the El Paso Walmart Supercenter located at 1850 N. Zaragoza Rd., weather and visibility permitting. The drones will launch from that Walmart location.
Findings from the program will help determine how drones can play a role in pandemic response, health care delivery and retail.
Once delivered, patients can perform a self-administered nasal swab in the privacy of their home, and then will ship the sample to a Quest Diagnostics lab using a provided pre-paid shipping envelope for processing at the lab. The patient will receive their COVID-19 test results through the secure Quest Diagnostics MyQuest online portal or app.
“Walmart has been serving the El Paso community throughout the pandemic with drive-thru testing sites and extended testing hours, and we wanted to provide another way to access testing that provides convenience and leverages technology, while learning how drones could impact the delivery of health care in the future,” said Amanda Jenkins, Vice President of Operation Support and Implementation, Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness.
To be eligible for drone delivery, patients must live within the 1.5-mile radius of the El Paso Walmart store and request a drone delivery appointment through www.GetDroneTest.com. There is no delivery cost for patients who qualify to receive an at-home self-collection kit through this pilot program. Patients must also meet CDC and state and local guidelines for testing and must be 18 years of age or older. Patients can visit www.GetDroneTest.com for more information and to determine if they are eligible.
Pharmacy window drive-thru testing at seven Walmart Neighborhood Markets in El Paso is available for those who are not in the drone delivery area, or do not meet the requirements, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., and special extended hours Sunday evenings until Thanksgiving.
To be screened for eligibility and to schedule an appointment, visit www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com. Testing is not available inside any Walmart store or in any Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center. There is no out-of-pocket cost for the testing.