Rite Aid to charge for coronavirus tests, expands program to teens

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Rite Aid Corp. will continue offering coronavirus testing to both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals and even expand the program to include children as young as 13, but beginning next month it will come with a price. Effective Dec. 1, testing for individuals 13 years of age and older will cost $115 per test in places where it was previously offered at no charge.

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The change comes amid “the end of federal funding for diagnostic testing by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)," according to a press release sent out Tuesday. In addition to expanding the age requirement, the company is also planning to add up to 1,000 new drive-through testing locations.

The drug store chain has been offering self-swab nasal tests that are overseen by pharmacists seven days a week during select business hours. The program will be halted beginning Thanksgiving and will not resume until Dec. 1, when the policy changes take effect.

Customers will need to pre-register for a test online and schedule a time slot at one of the 301 testing sites across 15 states currently available. A complete list of testing locations can be found online.

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“Rite Aid partnered with the White House coronavirus Task Force and HHS in March to provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing,” the press release said. “The program evolved and scaled up in response to the growing need for testing as the pandemic unfolded. After months of successful partnership, HHS funding has ended, but testing at Rite Aid will remain and be expanded.”

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