As Walgreens Opens Testing Sites, Other Pharmacies Discuss Possibility

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Walgreens now has two locations in South Florida currently offering COVID-19 testing to those who qualify.

It’s by appointment only, and you have to meet the CDC criteria for testing in order to qualify. But if you do, it’s free.

The addresses are: 

  •  6105 W. Sunrise Boulevard, Plantation
  •  14901 NE 6th Avenue, North Miami

“The locations are determined in collaboration with federal, state and local officials and the goal is to increase access to testing,” said Phil Caruso, a spokesman for Walgreens.

He says the two South Florida locations are among 20 set up nationwide and Walgreens is hoping to expand to many more states. 

It’s a drive-thru testing operation. Patients stay in their car. The nasal swab tests are self-administered, meaning you do it yourself. The pharmacist is there to oversee and guide you. 

While Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing for pharmacies to help expand testing in Florida, many of the local pharmacies say they don’t have the infrastructure, PPE or staff to do it safely. 

“Without having the means, as far as a drive-thru, or any type of external area to actually process the tests, it’s just something I wouldn't feel comfortable with to have active testing going on in the store,” said pharmacist Aneesh Lakhani, who owns Garden Drug and Medical Supply in Fort Lauderdale. 

He’s also the executive director of the Broward County Pharmacy Association. He says a lot of the local pharmacies feel the same way. However, many are interested in providing the antibody tests, which he says could be an available option as soon as next week. 

“When those tests arrive, they’re supposed to be like a take-home test, so the patients wouldn’t actually have to be doing anything in the store," he said.

Lakhani says the patients would then bring the test back for processing. He also says it's more than likely that you would need a prescription for it, especially in order to get it covered by insurance. 

As for the testing at Walgreens, they’re processing those tests on site. In order to get an appointment, you have to go online to take a health screening questionnaire to make sure you’re eligible. 

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