Walgreens COVID-19 Testing Locations announced in The County
Walgreens BinaxNOW COVID-19 Testing Locations in Aroostook County:
Caribou: 112 Bennett Dr.
Ft. Fairfield: 355 Main St.
Ft. Kent: 84 E. Main St.
Houlton: 137 North St.
Madawaska: 429 Main St.
Presque Isle: 320 Main St.
AUGUSTA— The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today the additional Walgreens pharmacy locations that will offer free drive-through rapid COVID-19 antigen testing to people in Maine experiencing symptoms of the virus.
Beginning tomorrow, Walgreens will open 52 testing sites across Maine to the public (see list below), using Abbott’s BinaxNOW rapid antigen point-of-care test. These sites join the 10 previously announced locations that opened last Friday. An additional three sites in southern Maine will come online with BinaxNOW next week, bringing the total to 65 locations. Appointments at all locations can be made now by following the steps on Walgreens.com/COVID19Testing.
Through an agreement with DHHS, testing is available through Walgreens at no cost to people in Maine who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. As a result of increased demand for testing in recent days, appointment availability may vary by location.
“The expansion of free rapid antigen testing through Walgreens allows people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to quickly rule out this disease,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “The BinaxNOW tests offer one more layer of protection, but continuing to wear a face covering, avoiding large gatherings, and keeping our distance has never been more important.”
Rapid antigen COVID-19 testing is available at Walgreens by appointment to adults and children age 3 and older who meet screening criteria to receive a test. Walgreens patrons self-collect a sample with a nasal swab under the supervision of Walgreens staff and submit the sample through the drive-through window, with results available in as little as an hour.
People who test positive for COVID-19 through the BinaxNOW rapid test should immediately quarantine and seek a second standard PCR test to confirm the results.
This testing is available through DHHS’ partnership with Walgreens to distribute approximately 300,000 Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen tests. The BinaxNOW test has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for testing symptomatic individuals for COVID-19 within the first 7 days of symptoms.
“Walgreens is pleased to further increase access to COVID-19 testing, and to serve as the first retail pharmacy to administer BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests in the country,” said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy, Walgreens. “The essential role pharmacists and patient care teams play in the health care delivery system has never been more clear. Walgreens has a long history of stepping up to support our customers and communities in times of need, and we’re pleased to be working in collaboration with Maine health officials and stand ready to work with additional states on their efforts to expand access to COVID-19 testing.”
In total, Maine is receiving 400,000 BinaxNOW tests from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at no charge. DHHS is separately allocating 100,000 tests through an application process and has already distributed more than 35,000 of those tests to federally qualified health centers, shelters, schools, and other settings. Since demand may exceed the available supply, DHHS will prioritize facilities that serve high-risk populations, high risk settings, and other settings where access to testing is otherwise limited.
While the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test is best used for people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, other types of testing is available in Maine to people who think they need a test, regardless of symptoms and without the need for a referral from a health provider. This testing is available at more than two dozen “swab and send” testing locations that offer molecular testing at no charge under separate agreements with DHHS. Results from swab and send locations are provided by the State Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory within 48 hours of receipt at the lab (the time from the sample collection to the delivery of the result to the patient may take longer). For more information, visit the Keep Maine Healthy website.
While demand for testing has increased ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Maine’s testing capacity is among the best in the nation. This capacity is the result of an agreement Governor Mills reached with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories five months ago. That agreement, as well as partnerships with Maine health care organizations and exceptional work by the State’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory, allowed Maine to become one of the first states in the nation to eliminate its testing prioritization system and issue a standing order allowing anyone in Maine who thinks they need a test to get one.
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