New COVID-19 testing options available by appointment only.*
How we can help
We offer services that may help minimize your exposure to risk or if you are experiencing illness.
How to help prevent the spread of coronavirus
- Follow physical distancing by maintaining 6 feet between you and others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask or cloth covering when around others
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- When you sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects
Learn tactics to help decrease the spread of the coronavirus where you live, work, study or shop.
Watch how free Rx delivery can help you stay safe and stay well.
Keep informed during the outbreak
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19
What you need to know about COVID-19
What is COVID‐19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel respiratory coronavirus. COVID-19 poses a serious public health risk and is highly contagious. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the situation a pandemic. Visit the CDC Traveler's Health website for travel notices and precautions.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common signs of infection include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- New loss of taste or smell
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Visit the CDC website for more information about symptoms.
How does it spread?
Human coronaviruses are usually spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing and through close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
For more information about the transmission of COVID-19, please see the CDC website.
How can you protect yourself or others from COVID-19?
Although there are currently no vaccines available to protect against human coronavirus infection, you may be able to reduce the risk of infection by washing your hands often; avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; wearing a face mask or cloth covering that covers your nose and mouth; and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
If you have cold-like symptoms, as a courtesy to your co-workers and others, please remain at home while you are sick.
- Along these lines, CVS Pharmacy is waiving charges for home delivery of prescription medications. With the CDC encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.
- Additionally, through Aetna, CVS Health is offering 90 day maintenance medication prescriptions for insured and Medicare members, and is working with state governments to make the same option available to Medicaid members when allowable.
- Aetna is also waiving early refill limits on 30 day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark®.
If you share a workstation or equipment with others, please wipe it down with disinfectant wipes after use. Surfaces in any area occupied by an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 should be washed with 70 percent ethyl alcohol or chlorine solution. For information about disinfecting your workstation, equipment or home, visit the CDC's Clean and Disinfect website.
Many cities, counties, states and countries have issued “stay at home” or “physical distancing” orders. To help protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19, it is important to follow these orders and limit the amount of time spent outside the home and around other people.
What should you do if you suspect you or someone else has contracted COVID-19?
Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, it is important to treat symptoms and limit the chances of infecting others. If you suspect you may have COVID-19, stay at home and reach out to a local health care provider.
Although there are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses, you can take the following actions to help relieve symptoms if you are mildly sick:
- Take pain and fever medications. Ask your pharmacist how they may interact with any medications you currently take. Caution: The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend not giving aspirin to children.
- Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.
- Drink plenty of liquids.
- Stay home and rest
- Self-quarantine to minimize the spread of the human coronavirus
- Contact your health care professional and ask about testing
Monitor your symptoms and reach out to a health care provider immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?
Doctors around the world have noted a severe inflammatory response that appears to be related to infections of COVID-19 in children. The multisystem inflammatory response presents with Kawasaki-like symptoms, including persistent fever, low blood pressure, abdominal pain, rash and elevated inflammatory markers. Children generally make a full recovery, though MIS-C has been fatal in some cases, indicating that the pediatric risk of COVID-19 is higher than initially presumed. Doctors are still learning about the syndrome, its diagnosis and its treatment. For more information, please see the CDC MIS-C website.
CVS Health response to COVID-19
What is the current CVS Health guidance about wearing a face covering in our stores and at other CVS Health sites?
Recent CDC guidance states that surgical, cloth or other face coverings may be helpful for those already infected with COVID-19 if they are in close contact with others. The CDC has also stated that face masks and face coverings may slow the spread of the virus by individuals who may have the virus but do not know it. Today, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings when physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure. Please remember, however, that there is no substitute for proper physical distancing measures and frequent and thorough hand washing.
In an effort to keep our colleagues and customers safe from COVID-19 infection, we are requiring that all CVS Health employees wear either company-issued face masks or cloth face coverings while working at a CVS Health site. Colleagues who choose not to wear company-provided face masks must wear cloth face coverings that meet CDC guidelines and are suitable for the workplace. Additionally, we are encouraging customers to wear face masks or cloth face coverings when inside our stores; we are requiring they do so in those parts of the country where a face covering is mandated.
We are also requiring all CVS vendors and suppliers, and their associated employees, contractors and agents, to follow all relevant COVID-19 guidelines issued by the CDC. These guidelines include but are not limited to:
- Wearing a mask/cloth face cover
- Maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene (frequent hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
- Frequently sanitizing any shared surfaces, equipment or technology, including keys, touchpads and styluses
- Ensuring employees stay home if they show any symptoms of illness
What is CVS Health doing to ensure its locations employ cleaning best practices to minimize exposure risk?
CVS Health follows CDC general cleaning guidance, which includes frequently cleaning all commonly touched surfaces, using disposable wipes to disinfect these surfaces, and using personal protective equipment while cleaning, including wearing nitrile gloves and safety goggles/glasses when using bleach/water solutions. This applies to all locations, including our stores.
What cleaning practices does CVS Health undertake when there is a confirmed case or an exposure situation?
A deep cleaning will be performed, which consists of wiping down all horizontal and high-contact touch points using Shockwave disinfectant cleaner and SteraMist spray.
MinuteClinic response to COVID-19
What is MinuteClinic doing to protect patients from COVID-19?
The safety of our patients, providers and colleagues is our number one concern. As a temporary measure, MinuteClinic is taking the following actions to help support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities:
- MinuteClinic is no longer accepting walk-in patients. All patients must make an appointment online on the MinuteClinic website or with the CVS Pharmacy app.
- Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting.
- Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic are required to wait in their personal vehicles or outside the store until the MinuteClinic provider texts or calls them in for their scheduled visits.
What will happen if patients come into the clinic without making an appointment first?
The safety of our patients, providers and colleagues is our number one concern. As a temporary measure, we are only accepting scheduled visits at our MinuteClinic locations for the time being.
If a patient arrives at the clinic without an appointment, there will be signage to let them know we are not accepting walk-in patients for the time being. The signage will direct them to make an appointment at MinuteClinic.com or with the CVS Pharmacy app. The sign-in kiosk will be disabled.
This information will also be posted online.
Patients can make an appointment using their mobile devices but are required to do so outside of the store or while waiting in their personal vehicles.
Why can't patients wait for their appointments in the store?
Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to ensure our patients and providers are protected.
In line with CDC and State Health Department guidance for infection control and prevention, and in the interest of keeping our providers, store colleagues and patients safe during this time, MinuteClinic has developed a temporary COVID-19 waiting room protocol.
Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic are required to wait in their personal vehicles or outside the store. When it is time for the patient's scheduled visit, the MinuteClinic provider will call or text the patient on the number they provided when they set up the appointment.
What happens if a patient comes to MinuteClinic and might have COVID-19?
Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to ensure our patients and providers are protected. At this time, we are not able to test for the COVID-19 virus inside MinuteClinic.
Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting, such as with their primary care physician or local health department.
If you have a suspected case of COVID-19 in the clinic, how will you help keep the store and clinic safe for other customers?
Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to help protect our patients and providers. In alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommendations, and in the interest of keeping our providers, store colleagues and patients safe during this time, MinuteClinic has developed a temporary COVID-19 waiting room protocol. The purpose of this protocol is to further enhance our infection control procedures for patients prior to their being seen in the clinic.
If one of our providers does see a patient who meets the criteria for COVID-19 risk, we take the appropriate precautions to protect our providers, other patients and customers. During the exam the provider will wear protective gear (e.g., appropriate masks, gloves, gown and goggles) and will provide the patient with a mask.
After the visit, the provider will disinfect the clinic exam room following CDC health care precautions for communicable infections, which includes the thorough disinfection of all clinic surfaces (including the sign-in kiosk). The provider may also close the disinfected clinic for a two hour period if needed and move to another room in the clinic to continue patient care.
Near the sign-in kiosk, we have masks available, as well as signage to encourage patients who are displaying lower respiratory tract symptoms (e.g., fever, cough and/or shortness of breath) to don masks while they wait for their appointments in their personal vehicles. We also have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available near the sign-in kiosk and encourage patient use.
Can you describe the process during an E-Clinic visit or a Video Visit if COVID-19 is suspected?
If a patient requests a MinuteClinic E-Clinic visit or a MinuteClinic Video Visit™ and is concerned about COVID-19, or if a Video Visit patient presents with symptoms of a lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., fever, cough and/or shortness of breath), we follow the CDC-recommended screening protocol to review their symptoms and check on other relevant risk factors to determine their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
If it is determined the patient may be at risk for COVID-19, the provider will connect with the local health department to determine the appropriate next steps and will connect the patient with the health department if testing for the virus is recommended.
General COVID-19 testing questions
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
The CDC recommends that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 who has been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or who lives in or has recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 (such as a CDC-designated “Level 2” or “Level 3” advisory area) should contact their health care provider and be tested. The CDC overview of testing is intended to provide guidance. The overview is updated occasionally.
The CDC suggests giving the following patients high priority for testing:
- Hospitalized patients with symptoms
- Health care facility workers, workers in congregate living settings and first responders with symptoms
- Residents in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings, including prisons and shelters, with symptoms
The CDC suggests prioritizing the following patients for testing:
- Persons with symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting, diarrhea and/or sore throat
- Persons without symptoms who are prioritized by health departments or clinicians, for any reason, including but not limited to public health monitoring, sentinel surveillance or screening of other individuals without symptoms according to state and local plans
The CDC suggests testing individuals:
- Persons with known or suspected exposure to COVID-19
- All babies born to women with COVID-19 regardless of signs of infections
- Persons without known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 in settings that house vulnerable populations in close quarters for extended periods of time and/or settings where critical infrastructure workers could be disproportionately affected
How can I access COVID-19 testing?
Patients who have concerns that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or may have symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider to determine the need for a test. The test will likely consist of a nasal or pharyngeal swab that is then sent to a laboratory. Results may be available on site depending on the type of test. Please visit the COVID-19 testing site for more information.
I asked for a COVID-19 test but my doctor said I don't need one. What are my options?
Your doctor is in the best position to advise if testing is needed based on your symptoms. With tests in limited supply, providers are using a strict set of guidelines to determine when testing is appropriate.
If your symptoms change, contact your doctor again.
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing at CVS Pharmacy locations
How is CVS Health supporting testing efforts in local communities?
CVS Health is uniquely positioned to play a vital role in supporting local communities and the overall health care system in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to coordinate the availability of COVID-19 testing bolsters states' efforts to manage the spread of the virus.
In March, CVS Health opened a pilot drive-thru COVID-19 test site in a parking lot at a CVS Pharmacy store in Shrewsbury, MA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This pilot helped inform the company's ability to improve upon and maximize drive-thru testing for patients.
In April, CVS Health worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state governments in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Rhode Island to help increase access to rapid-result COVID-19 testing at large-scale sites in publicly accessible areas, which were available through June 30. Rapid-result testing sites in underserved communities are anticipated to be open for testing through August 31.
Now CVS Health has expanded access to drive-thru COVID-19 testing and has established testing sites at up to 1,400 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country. Specimen samples from these drive-thru locations are sent to an independent, third-party lab. Results may take 6 to 10 days in times of peak demand and are viewable on the patient's MyChart account.* MyChart is a medical records software program that many health care professionals, including MinuteClinic providers, use. It is free for the patient.
The drive-thru testing patient will receive an email with a link to view test results through their secure MyChart account.
How many drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations will open up and where are they?
CVS Health created 1,400 store locations across the United States offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing, with the goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month, subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.
Go to the COVID-19 testing page to see locations and details.
Why are you expanding further?
Our pharmacies and MinuteClinic clinics are uniquely positioned to help address the pandemic and protect people's health. Building on the company's comprehensive efforts to help slow the spread of the virus, we can bring safe and effective testing options closer to home and help increase access to testing options for even more individuals. This allows us to continue to help slow the spread of the virus.
Will no-cost drive-thru COVID-19 testing be available at all CVS Pharmacy locations? How are you selecting the CVS Pharmacy locations?
Testing is not be available at all CVS Pharmacy locations. Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.
Through this effort we are hoping to provide additional access in areas of the country that need additional testing and are selecting CVS Pharmacy locations with these criteria in mind.
How many drive-thru COVID-19 tests will you be able to do per day at each site?
Each site should have the capacity to conduct up to approximately 50 tests per day.
How much does it cost to get a drive-thru test? Is the test covered by insurance?
We accept insurance at the drive-thru test sites. However, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act approved by Congress, patients should not have any out-of-pocket costs with their insurance. Uninsured patients will be covered under a program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Do people still need to make an appointment online to get a drive-thru test?
Yes, patients need to make an appointment in advance online at CVS.com. Patients need to preregister, provide their insurance information as appropriate and verify their eligibility for testing. Once they have registered, the patient is provided with an appointment window for that same day or up to two days out.
Which criteria are you using to determine who can get a test?
COVID-19 testing will be available to eligible individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. A physician's referral is not required.
Is testing available for health care workers and first responders?
Yes, first responders and health care workers are able to sign up if they believe they have been exposed through their work, if they have no symptoms but have a physician's referral, or if they are symptomatic.
What is the process when people arrive at the store for drive-thru testing?
Patients are required to stay in their cars. When patients arrive at the store there is clear signage to direct them towards the pharmacy drive-thru window.
Once the patient arrives at the drive-thru window, a CVS Pharmacy team member will verify their identity and appointment and provide them with a test kit and instructions on how to properly perform a self-swab. The patient will also receive a packet of information on next steps to follow when the test results are available to them in a few days. The CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Once the patient has completed the self-swab, the patient will deposit the sample in a specifically designated and secure container outside the store.
The testing process overall is supervised and managed by a local MinuteClinic provider.
Tests are sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing. Test results will be available in 6 to 10 days in times of peak demand and are viewable through MyChart (see next question for more MyChart information).*
Will people get their drive-thru COVID-19 test results on site?
No. Unlike the community rapid-result test sites in select states, where the test results are delivered on site, these specimen samples are sent to an independent, third-party lab. Results may take 6 to 10 days in times of peak demand. When results are ready, an email is sent to notify the patient to view results through the patient's secure MyChart account.* MyChart is a medical records software program that many health care professionals, including MinuteClinic providers, use. It is free for the patient and accessible as a convenient smartphone app.
The patient will receive an email with a link to view test results through MyChart.
How long will people need to wait for their test results?
The test results may take 6 to 10 days in times of peak demand and are sent securely through MyChart.* The patient will receive a link through email to sign up to view results through MyChart.
Will you use the Abbott ID NOW™ rapid COVID-19 test at these store test sites?
No-cost COVID-19 testing in your community
Can you give us the operational details of these community testing sites?
We currently have community-based testing locations in select states and are exploring additional opportunities with our partners to expand this testing into more areas of need.
Visit our no-cost COVID-19 testing page for location details, contact numbers and hours of operation.
How does the testing process work at these community sites?
Our community-based sites offer rapid-result COVID-19 testing to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to age guidelines. A doctor's referral is not required. Patients will need to call the location in advance in order to schedule a same-day time slot for testing.
A vehicle is not required because testing can be accommodated in person and results will be provided on the spot. When the patient arrives at the testing site for their appointment, the nurse will collect a sample of nasal secretions using a nasal swab. The patient will then be directed to a waiting area to await the test results.
Will you be using the Abbott test?
The sample will be processed using the Abbott ID NOW™ COVID-19 test, which will deliver positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in as little as 13 minutes. Once the test result is available, a health care professional will locate the patient to give them the test results. This will enable patients to receive results on site along with a treatment plan and direction on appropriate actions to take related to quarantine and exposure tracing.
How long will the process take per patient? How long will it take to get the results?
The process will take approximately 30 minutes from the collection of the swab to the delivery of the results.
Can anyone get a test?
To be eligible for testing, patients will need to meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to age guidelines. Patients will need to preregister by calling the phone number for the specific site at which they wish to make an appointment.
Visit our no-cost COVID-19 testing page for location details, contact numbers and hours of operation.
How are patients notified if their appointments are canceled?
When an appointment is canceled because a site is closed unexpectedly, patients with scheduled appointments will receive a phone call to inform them about the cancelation and help them to reschedule.