Kroger is giving its employees access to free at-home COVID-19 tests starting this week, the company said Wednesday.
The grocery chain said the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the test kits, which Kroger developed. Kroger said it hoped to be processing up to 60,000 tests per week by the end of July.
Kroger will be making the kits available to other companies and organizations in the coming weeks. Employers are responsible for the cost of the kits, which will be free to employees, according to Kroger spokeswoman Kristal Howard.
Kroger said most test results collected through the at-home kits would be available within 72 hours.
"Over the past few months, Kroger Health has been providing Americans with access to COVID-19 testing through community test sites across the country; however, we've observed some individuals do not have access to transportation or live near these community testing locations," said Kroger Health president Colleen Lindholz. "To help ease this burden and provide greater accessibility, we will be offering a home testing solution to our associates first followed by other companies and organizations."
Here's how the tests will work:
- Patients will use a website to answer screening questions and enter codes associated with their organization and identity (such as an employee ID).
- If the patient qualifies for a test, the kit will be shipped to their homes within 24 to 48 hours.
- "The kit includes a nasal swab, transport vial, instruction sheet, prepaid shipping label, and packing materials for return shipment of the sample to the laboratory," Kroger said.
- Once a patient receives the kit, they will be guided through the test by a healthcare professional via a two-way video chat.
- The patient will then send their sample via overnight shipping to a laboratory for processing. Results will be delivered in 24 to 48 hours.