Drive-through testing for COVID-19 will be offered at four CVS pharmacies in Maine starting Friday.

The company said it will be able to conduct up to 50 tests a day at each location. Customers will be given supervised self-swab tests at pharmacy drive-through windows in Portland, South Portland, Biddeford and Augusta stores, the pharmacy chain said.

The new testing sites are part of the Rhode Island company’s commitment to establish 1,000 testing locations across the U.S. by the end of May.

“Opening access to testing in more locations using our drive-thru window represents an important milestone in our response to the pandemic,” said Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, in a statement. “We remain grateful for the daily efforts and sacrifices of our front-line colleagues who make the continued expansion of our testing possible.”

Tests will be available to people who meet U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria and state guidelines, the company said. Customers have to register for an appointment on the CVS website and answer a questionnaire about their age, symptoms and medical condition, among other questions.

There is no out-of-pocket cost for customers to receive the test, said CVS spokesman Joe Goode. Patients have to stay in their cars and will self-administer a nasal swab test under the supervision of a CVS employee.


Test results should be available in three days, according to the company. All results will be reported to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, it said.

Utilizing existing drive-through pharmacy windows seemed to be a better way to leverage the company’s footprint than setting up outdoor testing stations, Goode said.

“Think of it as driving up to a drive-thru window and picking up your prescriptions,” he said. “We believe because we have retail locations in 10,000 communities across the country, we can develop testing in a more efficient and accessible manner.”

The CVS locations open for testing are 111 Auburn St. in Portland, 51 Market St. in South Portland, 384 Elm St. in Biddeford and 24 Stone St. in Augusta.

Maine has increased its COVID-19 testing and tracing resources in the past month. In early May, the state signed an agreement with Idexx Laboratories Inc., based in Westbrook, to triple its testing capacity.

Maine urgent care and walk-in clinics across the state have begun offering tests after medical screening, expanding availability to testing for Mainers.

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