Kroger Health has unveiled COVIDCare Plus, a new testing program designed to help employers reopen their businesses and keep them afloat during the coronavirus pandemic while shortening the turnaround time for diagnosis results.
"We know testing continues to be a critical pillar in the fight against COVID-19," said Kroger Health president Colleen Lindholz in a statement. "And yet, our country faces ongoing challenges to keep pace with demand. At Kroger Health, we are grateful to be part of the solution by providing employers with COVID-19 testing that has a short turnaround time. This is paramount to keeping American businesses open and people at work."
The program uses Kroger Health's COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit which offers self-administered testing from home with results delivered in 24-48 hours through a partnership with CLIA-certified laboratory Gravity Diagnostics. Samples are collected via mid-turbinate nasal swabs – the same process that Kroger Health has deployed at its COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites, where 150,000 tests have been collectively administered.
The sample collection is conducted under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional, which "improves the quality of the sample collected, increases accessibility, and reduces patient anxiety," according to the company.
In addition, COVIDCare Plus will offer employers and their teams access to advanced clinical services like vaccinations, telehealth, and telenutrition, which Kroger said is "focused on driving actionable behavior change that helps combat the larger crisis of chronic disease that affects nearly half of Americans."
"We are solving for the pandemic while building for the epidemic," Lindholz added. "COVID-19 is our clear focus in the short term and we have a strong plan in place to help drive our country's recovery efforts. However, we know that – now more than ever – a focus on health and wellness needs to become an ongoing way of life for all of us. That's why we are committed to providing organizations with the services we know their employees and stakeholders need to stay healthy."
According to a report by the 2020 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health, nearly three in four (71.6%) American adults are either overweight or obese, and more than 100 million Americans, nearly half of all U.S. adults, suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes. The study also notes that poor diet is now the leading cause of poor health in the United States.
COVIDCare Plus is currently available in 17 states, with plans underway to expand further.
Kroger Health is the fourth-largest retail healthcare organization in America, with over 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers. Kroger Health is a division of The Kroger Company, which is the largest supermarket chain in the United States and the second-largest overall retailer, trailing only Walmart.