About COVID-19 Testing in NY

Saturday, April 25th, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order (EO) granting NYS pharmacists the ability to order and perform CLIA-waived COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing. Previously, pharmacists were not authorized to perform CLIA-waived tests in NY without an order from a physician or nurse practitioner. The new Executive Order removed this barrier for COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing. A diagnostic test is performed on a patient who meets specific criteria to ascertain if the patient is currently infected with the COVID-19 virus. An antibody test is performed to ascertain if a patient has had a COVID-19 infection in the past. Diagnostic testing requires a high level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and should be provided outside of the retail pharmacy, in a drive-thru type setting. Antibody testing can typically be offered in a routine pharmacy setting. 

 

Kinney Drugs is actively assessing our ability to provide both diagnostic and antibody testing. The company is in the process of developing a plan, which includes sourcing an adequate supply of test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE), training staff, preparing and staffing testing sites, and documenting proper workflow and procedures. Kinney is engaging with partners at the state level as part of this process and will keep the public updated when testing can be made available.

 

“Kinney’s top priority has always been the health and safety of our patients and employees. We are happy that pharmacists have been called upon to take a significant role in the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize the importance of testing in curtailing the spread of coronavirus,” said Rebecca Bubel, R.Ph., President of Kinney Drugs. “We’d like to assure everyone that our pharmacy teams are working very hard to rise to this challenge and will provide more information on testing as soon as we possibly can."

 

Helpful Links:

 

Get Free Delivery, Drivethru or Curbside Pickup!

 

About the Coronavirus from the CDC

 

NYS Department of Health

 

VT Department of Health

 

A letter from the President of Kinney Drugs

 

 

How is Kinney Drugs helping our customers during COVID-19?

 

Will you be adjusting your operating hours?

To meet the needs of our customers and communities, Kinney is remaining open normal business hours (in both the pharmacy and the store).

 

How are you supporting seniors during this time?

We recognize that seniors are being asked to stay home to lower their risk of contracting COVID-19. We always offer FREE home delivery of prescriptions, and are always happy to include over-the-counter medications, household supplies, and groceries too. You don't need to have a prescription to receive home delivery. For any non-prescription deliveries, we are currently waiving our normal $2 delivery fee. Anyone who has a need for home delivery may call their local store, let them know what you need, and they will take care of the rest.

 

How can patients access their prescriptions if they are being quarantined or want to avoid going in-store?

Patients looking for alternative ways to access their prescriptions may use our pharmacy drive-thru or free prescription delivery service. Some stores are now offering curbside pickup as staffing allows. Please see our website or reach out to your local store for more information.

 

Is it possible to get other items beyond prescriptions through the drive-thru?

Our store teams remain dedicated to ensuring that our customers have what they need during this difficult time and will do their best to accommodate requests for over-the-counter purchases through the drive-thru window. Please reach out to your local store before coming in to arrange for pickup of additional items.

 

How are you preparing pharmacy staff to address patient questions regarding COVID-19?

Our clinical and operations teams are providing routine updates based on information from the CDC, WHO, and local and state health departments.

 

 

How are your stores ensuring a safe shopping experience?

 

Social Distancing - Kinney is committed to providing a safer shopping experience for our customers and employees. When you visit all Kinney locations, you will see lines marked at the front-end check outs as well as the pharmacy drop off and pick up areas. These lines indicate where to stand while in line and are the recommended 6ft apart. We ask that our customers remain behind the line so that we can sanitize the counter in between each customer. We have also installed acrylic shields at the front-end checkouts as well as pharmacy drop off and pick areas. These shields provid extra protection for both our employees as well as our customers.

Cleaning of High-touch Areas - We have deep cleaning and sanitizing protocols to ensure that all high touch surfaces are disinfected according to CDC recommendations.

 

 

What is Kinney doing for employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

Are you providing supplemental pay for your team members?

Yes - effective 3/20/20, Kinney will temporarily provide additional pay to our hourly employees.

 

Why is Kinney keeping its stores open, even in states that have declared a state of emergency?

Kinney is in touch with local and state governments and the CDC to ensure we are following current recommendations. At this time, pharmacies are considered essential businesses and will remain open. Kinney and our employee-owneres are proud to remain available to serve the pharmacy and retail needs of our communities.

 

How else are you supporting your team members during this time?

We are routinely communicating important information to our teams so they can remain well informed during this ever-changing situation. We also understand that employees may be facing unique challenges outside of their work setting and have an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) which we encourage our employees to take advantage of any time they need assistance or support.