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 (WHO) 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:
- Fever (chills, sweating)
- Cough (not related to chronic condition)
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (not related to chronic condition)
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- 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 have 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?
Face coverings are required of all customers, patients and colleagues at our stores and locations to help promote health and safety.
CDC guidance states that face masks and face coverings may slow the spread of the coronavirus by individuals who may have the virus but do not know it and may be helpful for those already infected with COVID-19 if they are in close contact with others. 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.
Adults and children over 2 years of age are asked to wear face coverings at our locations. Children under 2 years of age and people with medical conditions or disabilities who may be adversely affected by a face covering do not need to wear one.
In an effort to keep our colleagues and customers safe from COVID-19 infection, we require all CVS Health employees to wear either company-issued face masks or cloth face coverings while working at a CVS Health site, including CVS Pharmacy locations and testing locations. 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.
We also require 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 face mask/cloth face covering
- 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
Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items at low cost can be used as a public health measure. Please remember, however, that there is no substitute for proper physical distancing measures and frequent and thorough hand washing.
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?
In order to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and to act in line with CDC and State Health Department guidance for infection control and prevention, MinuteClinic is making the following temporary changes to help keep our patients, customers and colleagues safe:
- While you can easily make an appointment online, we are also accepting walk-in patients at many of our clinics.
- To follow social distancing guidelines, we've eliminated the waiting room. After you check in at the kiosk, you will need to wait in your car or outside the store until the provider calls you in.
- You will also be asked to wear a mask throughout your visit, which we can provide, if you do not have one of your own.
- Whether you register for an appointment or walk in for care, you will be asked some questions to determine your risk for COVID-19. If your symptoms or exposure history suggest you may be at risk, we will share information about how to find the most convenient location for COVID-19 testing.
- Although we are not testing for COVID-19 inside our MinuteClinic locations right now, no-cost testing is available at pharmacy drive-thru windows at more than 1,800 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country.
- We're adding steps to further clean and disinfect the kiosk and the clinic between visits, and ensuring our providers have the appropriate PPE, including gloves, masks and protective eyewear.
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.
Whether you register for an appointment or walk-in for care, you will be asked some questions to determine your risk for COVID-19. If your symptoms or exposure history suggest you may be at risk, we will share information about how to find the most convenient location for COVID-19 testing. Although we are not testing for COVID-19 inside our MinuteClinics right now, no-cost testing is available at pharmacy drive-thru windows at more than 1,800 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country.
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 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 those with symptoms of COVID-19 who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or who live in or have 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 and updates 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.
Why are you no longer offering testing at the large-scale rapid-result sites?
As we have greatly expanded our testing capacity through an efficient and accessible network of store-based drive-thru testing sites, we have ceased operations at our five large-scale rapid-result testing sites, effective Saturday, June 27.
CVS Health is currently operating more than 1,800 COVID-19 testing sites across the country at select CVS Pharmacy locations with the goal of expanding to approximately 3,000 testing sites by fall 2020, and is partnering with community organizations, long-term care facilities, employers and universities to expand testing for additional populations.
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 more than 1,800 locations across the country with a goal of expanding to approximately 3,000 testing site locations by fall 2020. Specimen samples from these drive-thru locations are sent to an independent, third-party lab. Current lab turnaround time for results averages 3 to 7 days. Results 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 more than 1,800 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. By fall 2020, CVS Health plans to expand the total number of testing sites to approximately 3,000.
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 will not be available at all CVS Pharmacy locations. These COVID-19 tests will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients
CVS Health currently has more than 1,800 drive-thru testing locations across the country with the goal of expanding to approximately 3,000 testing sites by fall 2020. Through this effort we are hoping to provide access in areas of the country that need additional testing and are selecting CVS Pharmacy locations with this criterion in mind.
How many drive-thru COVID-19 tests will you be able to do per day at each site?
Based on the availability of supplies and lab capacity, each site can conduct between 20 and 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 throughout the process. When a patient arrives at the store they will see clear signage directing them toward the pharmacy drive-thru window.
Once the patient arrives at the drive-thru window, a CVS Pharmacy team member will verify their appointment and identity 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.
Patient samples are then sent off-site to independent, third-party labs that are responsible for processing and delivering the results, which we then communicate to patients and are viewable through MyChart (see next question for more MyChart information).*
In a few locations where there is no CVS Pharmacy drive-thru window, individuals with appointments will be directed to a location in the parking lot. They will be met by a CVS Pharmacy team member who will provide instructions and next steps.
The overall testing process is supervised and managed by a local MinuteClinic provider.
Will people get their test results on-site at drive-thru COVID-19 test sites?
Not at this time. Patient samples are sent off-site to independent, third-party labs that are responsible for processing and delivering the results, which we then communicate to patients.
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?
All test specimens are sent to independent, third-party labs for processing. Current lab turnaround time for results averages 3 to 7 days. Results are sent to the patient 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 the drive-thru test sites?
No-cost COVID-19 testing in your community
What is CVS Health doing to increase testing access for underserved communities?
More than half of CVS Health's testing sites are located in counties that serve moderate- to high-needs communities, as measured by the CDC's Social Vulnerability Index. The index tracks a variety of census variables, including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing, that may weaken a community's ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.
Underserved and multicultural communities are being disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. To help address this issue, CVS Health has partnered with national organizations such as the National Medical Association; local community groups, including free and charitable clinics and community colleges; state governments; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand community-based testing in underserved areas in more than 10 cities.
These community-based test sites are located at the facilities of our partner organizations, enabling us to tap into their networks to expand testing in areas of greatest need and reach people who may not otherwise have easy access to testing. These testing sites are designed to help reduce barriers that may limit access to testing for local residents. For example:
- Appointments are made by phone, so lack of internet access is not a barrier.
- Each site can accommodate walk-up testing, so access to a vehicle is not required.
- Signage is offered in English and Spanish.
- Testing is available to patients at no cost.
Learn more about no-cost COVID-19 testing in the 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.