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Rite Aid Adds More Testing Sites in Fight Against Coronavirus

Zacks Equity Research

Rite Aid Corporation RAD is playing its part to serve the society and help curb the effects of the novel coronavirus that has been creating a ruckus worldwide. In this regard, it recently added 21 COVID-19 testing locations across the United States in collaboration with the U.S. Branch of Health and Human Services (HHS).

These drive-through testing sites will open from today and operate from 10 am to 8 pm on the weekdays and from 10 am to 5 pm during weekends. This brings the total number of testing facilities to 92. Also, these testing locations can now perform roughly 47,000 tests each week. The self-swab nasal tests will be monitored by Rite Aid pharmacists.

Moreover, individuals can take online appointments to avail this facility. Keeping in these lines, the company has joined hands with Verily in order to use the latter’s Baseline COVID-19 Program for the purpose of screening, scheduling and returning of results to patients. In addition, asymptotic adults can also avail the testing facility at these sites. Such patients will be dealt with keeping in mind the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Its rivals, CVS Health Corporation CVS, Walgreens WBA and Walmart WMT, also trod the same path. Notably, CVS Health has 1,000 COVID-19 testing sites across more than 30 states and Washington, DC. Walgreens now has 15 testing locations in Arizona, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan and Texas. Walmart also crossed more than 100 testing sites on May 15.

Prior to this, the company launched 46 no-charge testing sites that became operational on May 11. These sites can perform roughly 10,000 tests each day. Earlier, it announced the opening of its 25th testing site at Richmond, VA, with the ability to perform roughly 200 tests each day.

Apart from these, it has been providing home delivery service to customers with an eligible prescription at zero delivery fees. However, it clarified that products such as refrigerated medications and controlled substances will not be eligible for delivery. Also, the company is offering pick-up services for prescriptions and over-the-counter products and customers can use the drive-through option available at more than 50% of its retail locations. Moreover, it is operating the online business — RiteAid.com. Customers who belong to the Rite Aid wellness+ reward program have access to healthcare professionals and pharmacists at 1-800-Rite Aid or via live chat on the website.

The Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company has partnered with other pharmacy-benefit organizations and local physicians to ensure that customers can avail the required medication along with hand sanitizers, cleansers and rubbing alcohol. It has also imposed limits on in-store and online purchases of certain items so that these products can reach the maximum number of people in need.

In a bid to meet customers’ growing demand, Rite Aid remains on track with hiring plans. Notably, it earlier revealed plans to recruit 5,000 full-time and part-time associates that would provide additional support to deliver medications, essential supplies and COVID-19-related information through stores and distribution centers.

These efforts have been boosting investors’ confidence in the stock. In the past three months, shares of the company have surged 48.1% compared with the industry’s growth of 23.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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