State and county officials are partnering with Walmart stores in Dumfries and Manassas to offer drive-thru COVID-19 tests starting this Friday to anyone who meets the federal guidelines.
The tests to be offered involve self-administered nasal swabs. They will be available on a drive-thru basis in the parking lots outside Walmart stores at 17041 Jefferson Davis Highway in Dumfries and at 8386 Sudley Road in Manassas, according to a Prince William County press release.
There is no "out-of-pocket" cost associated with the tests, but patients will be asked for an I.D. and can present an insurance card if they want to. No one will be turned away for not having insurance, according to a Walmart spokesperson.
People eligible for the COVID-19 tests include first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19, as well as those in “high-risk groups” who do not have symptoms.
The CDC guidelines are not clear on exactly which asymptomatic people might fall into the “high-risk groups,” as that designation depends on state and local parameters that are not immediately available.
Those interested in being tested must visit www.DoINeedaCOVID19test.com to check eligibility requirements and to make an appointment.
Beginning this Friday, May 15, the site will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays weekly from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., weather permitting, the press release said.
For questions regarding testing, call 800-635-8611.
Those tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and the self-administered test. For the safety of those on-site, the test site is not available to those who walk to the Walmarts, the release said.
The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those tested to swab their nose while sitting in their vehicles and being observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly. The swabs will then be dropped into a container on the way out of the drive-thru site, the release said.
The tests will be processed by eTrueNorth, which will also inform those tested of the results. The results will also be shared with the applicable departments of health. The results are expected to take three to five days, the release said.
The site will be staffed by Walmart healthcare workers, but testing is not available inside Walmart stores, the release said.
Individuals who are tested and awaiting results are asked to follow CDC guidelines and take steps to help prevent the virus from spreading to people in their homes and communities, the release said.
“We are happy to partner with the Health Department and Walmart to provide testing for citizens. It is important to provide sufficient COVID-19 testing in Prince William County. We are appreciative of the collaboration of resources to increase testing in our county,” Prince William County Executive Chris Martino said in the news release.
“Access to testing is essential to containing the spread of COVID-19 and making decisions about reopening Virginia in phases. Our thanks to Walmart and partners for helping stand up these drive-thru testing locations,” said Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver, also in a statement.
Brooke Mueller, Walmart’s public affairs director for Virginia, said Walmart is “proud to help support the expansion of COVID-19 testing Prince William County during this unprecedented time.”
“We are grateful to our associates who keep our stores running, our pharmacists who support these testing sites, and to eTrueNorth and local officials as we work together to open the site and help our community,” she said.