Walmart piloting COVID-19 test delivery via drones

Walmart, Inc. announced Tuesday that it will work to expand its COVID-19 test offerings through drone deliveries.  In a partnership with Quest Diagnostics, a clinical laboratory testing company, and aerial data collector DroneUp, the superstore company is piloting the drone delivery of at-home coronavirus testing kits as a means to […]

Walmart, Inc. announced Tuesday that it will work to expand its COVID-19 test offerings through drone deliveries. 

In a partnership with Quest Diagnostics, a clinical laboratory testing company, and aerial data collector DroneUp, the superstore company is piloting the drone delivery of at-home coronavirus testing kits as a means to expand testing in a contactless way.

The trial deliveries will be launched in North Las Vegas on Tuesday and in Cheektowaga, N.Y., in early October.


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“We hope drone delivery of self-collection kits will shape contactless testing capabilities on a larger scale and continue to bolster the innovative ways Walmart plans to use drone delivery in the future,” the press release said.

Qualifying patients who are eligible for a COVID-19 test kit delivery must live within a 1-mile radius of the Walmart Supercenter locations in Las Vegas and Cheektowaga. The kits will be dropped off by the drone at the patient’s driveway, front sidewalk or backyard free of charge. 

The test kits distributed will be nasal swabs. 

Earlier this month, Walmart announced a similar pilot initiative to deliver groceries and other products from stores with automated drones from the company Flytrex. The program was deployed in Fayetteville, N.C. 

Select Walmart locations have also hosted Community Testing Sites, where people can receive a free coronavirus test in a drive-through format. As of Sept. 15, the company reports it has tested more than 250,000 people from its sites.


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