PHOENIX - Kroger, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, has received emergency FDA approval for at-home COVID-19 testing kits for their employees.
The chain will also offer telemedicine consultation for those essential workers within the company.
Arizona is one of 14 states where at-home COVID-19 tests are available at no cost to Fry's associates who are showing symptoms.
"Really from the get-go, this was something that as a company, that they were looking at," said Stephanie Spark, Fry's Health and Wellness Manager. "They would take an assessment online. If they fit that criteria, then that kit gets shipped to their house usually within 24 to 48 hours and then once they receive that then there are detailed instructions with that. They would go to an online waiting room to check-in and then from there, they would meet with that provider and go through that process of sample collection."
It's a telemedicine approach where a patient connects with a licensed health care provider to walk through the nasal swab process.
After the sample is collected, the patient overnight ships their sample to a lab for processing.
Processing results of the at-home test will take about 24 to 48 hours on average, the company said. (Photo credit: Kroger Health)
"I think it's critical that the essential workers, including folks that work in grocery stores who are at constant contact with many different people, to get access to more testing. I think in general we need more testing," said Dr. Shad Marvasti.
Dr. Shad with the University of Arizona says so much can be done from home, but these at-home testing kits are a great example.
"We are so behind that any kind of test we do is going to be much better than where we are at, but I think this is a great solution because it reduces the risk of exposure of everyone involved. It's not that complicated. It's not that complex. You have someone on video on the other side showing you and answering your questions and even watching you."
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Arizona COVID-19 resources, FAQ: azdhs.gov/coronavirus
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In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.