UPDATE: Rite Aid expands no-cost COVID-19 testing

Published 11:36 am Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NILES — Rite Aid is updating its COVID-19 testing program through its partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Effective immediately, no-charge testing at Rite Aid’s existing testing sites will be expanded to individuals 13 years of age and older — regardless of whether the individual is symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Previously, testing was only available to individuals 18 years of age or older. The expanded program allows parents or legal guardians of individuals 13-18 years of age to create Baseline COVID-19 accounts so that they may be screened and tested. Parents or legal guardians must provide consent for individuals under 18, show their government issued identification and must accompany their children to the appointment and supervise them during the test.

This change will take place at all of its current COVID-19 testing sites including the Rite Aid on S. 11th St. in Niles.

Additionally, in order to provide more testing access to customers and the communities in which it does business, Rite Aid will soon expand COVID-19 testing to up to an additional 1,000 drive-through locations.

Rite Aid partnered with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and HHS in March to provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The program evolved and scaled up in response to the growing need for testing as the pandemic unfolded.

Rite Aid’s COVID-19 testing locations utilize simple self-swab nasal tests overseen by Rite Aid pharmacists, and operate Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At all testing locations, adult patients will be required to provide government-issued identification and need to pre-register online at riteaid.com in order to schedule a time slot for testing. Testing will be temporarily unavailable at Rite Aid sites on Thanksgiving and Friday, with testing resuming Saturday.

“We’re proud to continue serving as an essential part of the pandemic response in the neighborhoods we serve,” said Heyward Donigan, president and chief executive officer, Rite Aid. “Making testing available — and now, to a broader age range — is an important next step in continuing to fight COVID-19.”

The expansion announcement comes just hours after Rite Aid had announced it was ending its no-cost testing.

Just after 8 a.m. Tuesday, the company announced that effective Dec. 1, no-charge testing at Rite Aid’s existing testing sites will be replaced by testing for individuals 13 years of age and older for $115 per test following the end of federal funding for diagnostic testing by the HHS. However, a late-breaking update from the HHS caused that decision to be reversed by 11:20 a.m., resulting in the expansion of no-cost testing.

Rite Aid is currently operating 301 testing sites across 15 states.