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Walmart, pharmacists to expand NJ’s COVID-19 testing

There are 2,239 pharmacies in New Jersey, including retail chains and independent businesses. Last week, the acting director of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs signed an administrative order that permits licensed pharmacists to perform COVID-19 tests at, or immediately outside of, a registered pharmacy. Under the order, pharmacists can administer tests for COVID-19 or its antibodies without a prescription. The order allows pharmacists to order and perform tests, and waives legal requirements that otherwise would preclude pharmacists from administering tests without entering into a collaborative practice agreement or protocol with a physician.

Pharmacists can only perform tests that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or that have received an emergency use authorization issued by the FDA.

Eleven Rite Aid locations across the state are offering COVID-19 tests, including the Rite Aid in Robbinsville, and CVS will have swab-and-send testing capabilities at 50 of their stores across New Jersey by the end of the month.

On Wednesday, state officials also announced that seven Walmarts across the state will also offer drive-up testing in partnership with Quest Diagnostics beginning May 22. The testing sites will test adults who meet Centers for Disease Control and state and local criteria on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers, and others with symptoms of COVID-19, and those in high-risk groups without symptoms. COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites will open Friday, May 22, in the parking lots of Garfield, North Bergen, Kearny, Flemington, Burlington, Howell, and Mount Laurel Walmart stores located at:

  • 174 Passaic St, Garfield, NJ 07026
  • 2100 88th St, North Bergen, NJ 07047
  • 150 Harrison Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032
  • 152 NJ-31 N, Flemington, NJ 08822
  • 2106 Mt Holly Rd, Burlington Township, NJ 08016
  • 4900 U.S. Hwy #9, Howell Township, NJ 07731
  • 934 NJ-73, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054

Details regarding the testing sites:

  • The sites are open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays weekly from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., weather permitting.
  • The sites will be closed for Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, but will open Tuesday, May 26, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and resume its regular schedule on Wednesday.
  • Testing is for adults who meet CDC and state and local guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers, and others with symptoms of COVID-19, and those in high-risk groups without symptoms.
  • Residents must be 18 years and older.
  • The testing sites will require an appointment through Quest’s MyQuest online portal and app, www.MyQuestCOVIDTest.com, which will screen and schedule appointments for those residents who meet medical eligibility for the testing sites.
  • Once on site, those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check, and a self-administered test. For the safety of all those on-site, the test site is not available to those who walk up. 
  • The sites will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose onsite while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and drop the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-thru site.
  • Quest Diagnostics will handle processing test samples and communicating results to those tested and applicable departments of health.
  • Any questions regarding testing and appointments, please call Quest’s dedicated COVID-19 line at 866-448-7719, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The sites will be staffed by Walmart pharmacists and associates.

One Comment

  1. Pretty much useless. Robbinsville? Flemington? Garfield? Kearny? Come on. How about, you know, Princeton? Ridiculous.

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