Rite Aid is collaborating with Quest Diagnostics to provide access to COVID molecular testing to help its customers detect and prevent the spread of the virus.

Quest is a provider of diagnostic information services and COVID testing. The company has performed more than 69 million COVID-19 molecular tests since March 2020.

Through the collaboration, Rite Aid and Bartell Drugs’ more than 2,350 stores, now offer access to Quest PCR testing, either through their drive-thru locations or the addition of at home specimen testing kits from stores without drive-thrus, doubling the access to PCR testing for adults and children over 2 years old. Both options require an appointment be made through the Quest website. Quest Diagnostics will provide results electronically to individuals through the MyQuest online portal and app.

Customers can schedule to pick up a COVID PCR testing kit with at-home specimen collection or schedule observed drive-thru collection. Quest’s kits come with a prepaid FedEx envelope for overnight shipping to a Quest laboratory. Currently, the average time for Quest Diagnostics to provide a test result is one to two days. Result turnaround times can fluctuate with demand levels and vary by region and other factors.

“As new variants spread throughout our communities, testing remains a critical tool as we continue to support our communities in the fight against COVID-19,” says Karen Staniforth, chief pharmacy officer at Rite Aid. “Identifying COVID-19 infection helps individuals obtain the treatment they need while helping to prevent further spread of the disease. We are proud to collaborate with Quest to make testing easily accessible for our customers by expanding to all of our stores.”

Cathy Doherty, senior vice president, Regional Businesses, Quest Diagnostics, added: “As people continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and families need access to convenient, affordable and quality diagnostic testing in order to engage in activities more safely and responsibly PCR and other molecular diagnostic tests are the gold-standard for reliable COVID-19 testing. Our relationship with Rite Aid will extend our delivery of COVID-19 testing to more communities in the United States.”

PCR and other nucleic acid amplification tests are molecular diagnostic testing technologies. Unlike at-home antigen tests, they are performed in a laboratory. According to the CDC, NAAT is the gold standard for detection of SARS-CoV-2, and they may be useful in some cases in confirming an antigen test result. Customers should discuss their test results with their doctor.

In addition to the molecular tests, Rite Aid locations continue to provide rapid, over the counter at-home antigen COVID-19 test kits for customers.