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Your COVID-19 resource center

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Ways to stay healthy and help slow the spread

Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering, wash hands often, and clean and disinfect surfaces.

Follow physical guidelines by maintaining a distance of 6 feet between you and others.

If you come in contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home for 14 days and watch for symptoms. The best timing for testing is five days after exposure.

An image of a pharmacy technician smiling at the viewer across a counter

Our CVS Pharmacy® locations have been updated to benefit your health and safety.

  • Disinfectant wipe stations for your cart or basket
  • Signage and floor markers to help you maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet while in store
  • Face coverings are required in our stores per CDC guidance*
  • Regular cleaning of hard surfaces and frequently handled items
  • New protective panels at checkout and pharmacy counters
  • Fewer signatures required on our PIN pads

Keep informed to stay on your path toward better health.

For the latest COVID-19 guidelines and COVID-19 vaccine progress, visit these Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web pages.

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19

Updated February 18, 2021

What is the role of CVS Health in administering COVID-19 vaccines?

CVS Health is prepared to play a prominent role in administering COVID-19 vaccinations to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, as well as to the general public, once the vaccine is available for general distribution, through a partnership with CDC as one of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Providers. CVS Health also stands ready to provide additional assistance to states in their state-run vaccination programs.

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.

About COVID-19 and our response to the pandemic

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
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

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?

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 have 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

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.

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 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 during this time:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

What should patients do if they suspect they may have COVID-19?

People with symptoms of a respiratory illness, including a high fever, cough and shortness of breath, or who have been in close contact with someone who meets these criteria, should not schedule a visit at MinuteClinic. These patients should consult with their primary care provider or local health department about testing, or visit one of CVS Health's more than 4,300 testing sites.

If someone suspects they may have COVID-19, telemedicine services can be an effective option for screening. Telemedicine and virtual care services enable patients to talk with a health care provider and have a basic screening to determine their risk for COVID-19, without having to leave home. MinuteClinic offers two telemedicine options including E-Clinic visits and MinuteClinic Video Visits. For more details, visit MinuteClinic.com.

If a patient develops emergency warning signs for COVID-19 they should seek out medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive.

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. 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, including at our more than 4,500 testing 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 CDC and 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 them 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 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to don masks while they wait for their appointment in their personal vehicle. We also have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available near the sign-in kiosk and encourage patient use.

Why can't patients make appointments at their closest MinuteClinic anymore?

During this time when access to routine health care continues to be disrupted, MinuteClinic remains focused on our goal to provide patients with access to affordable, high-quality routine health care in a safe environment.

Currently, as part of our Pandemic response, there may be limited availability for scheduling a MinuteClinic visit in advance at certain locations, but our clinics continue to be open for walk-in patients with non-COVID-19 related health care needs. We encourage patients to check on-line at MinuteClinic.com to determine approximate wait time at their closest clinic and determine if advance appointments are available.

Can a patient have a COVID-19 test during a MinuteClinic visit (either appointment or walk-in)?

Patients who are experiencing COVID-like symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus and are seeking out a test, must schedule an appointment in advance at CVS.com.

Patients are not able to schedule a COVID-19 test using the clinic locator at MinuteClinic.com.

How do you prevent COVID-19 patients from just walking in for a clinic visit?

Currently, as part of our Pandemic response, there may be limited availability for scheduling a MinuteClinic visit in advance at certain locations. Our clinics continue to be open for walk-in patients with non-COVID-19 related health care needs once they have been pre-screened, and in accordance with state mandates.

After a patient registers at the sign-on kiosk for a MinuteClinic visit, the provider will reach out to them over the phone with a series of screening questions to determine their risk for COVID-19. If the responses suggest the patient may be at risk, they are instructed to seek out COVID-19 testing. If a patient passes the screener they are invited into the clinic for the visit. Patients are asked to wear a face covering during their visit and a face covering can be provided if needed.

Is there an out of pocket cost for the rapid-result COVID-19 testing?

Rapid-result testing for COVID-19 is available at no cost to eligible patients either with insurance or through the federal government's program for uninsured patients.

If a patient takes a COVID-19 rapid-result test, is negative and has a MinuteClinic visit after getting their test results, will there be an out of pocket cost for the MinuteClinic visit?

Under the CARES Act, patients should not have out-of-pocket costs for follow-up care at MinuteClinic conducted on the same day as a COVID-19 test and directly related to COVID-like symptoms. Care provided for other health concerns, not related to COVID-like symptoms, may be subject to patient cost share, based on their health insurance plan and coverage. Patients should contact their insurance company for questions regarding coverage.

Does MinuteClinic® offer telemedicine services?

Yes. MinuteClinic offers two telemedicine options including E-Clinic visits and MinuteClinic Video Visits. For more details, visit MinuteClinic.com.

Does MinuteClinic offer behavioral health services either through Video Visits or e-Clinic visits?

No, not at this time. MinuteClinic supports acute and chronic conditions, but not behavioral health.

Where can I get more information?

You can find more information on COVID-19 at these links:

*FOR VACCINE REIMBURSEMENT: Under section 6008(b)(4) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), to receive the temporary federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) increase, a state or territory must cover COVID-19 testing services and treatments, including vaccines and their administration, specialized equipment and therapies for Medicaid enrollees without cost sharing. We are not aware of any states or territories not currently claiming this temporary FMAP increase, and CMS has stated that it is not aware of any states or territories that intend to cease claiming it. Accordingly, Medicaid coverage of COVID-19 vaccines and their administration without cost sharing is expected to be available for most Medicaid beneficiaries.

*FOR COVID-19 TESTING: Testing requires preregistration, is only available based on specified screening criteria, and is conducted by MinuteClinic®. COVID-19 testing at select CVS Pharmacy® locations is no cost with most insurance plans or through a federal program for the uninsured. COVID-19 testing does not eliminate the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or coronavirus disease 2019. Available testing procedures may produce false negative or false positive results due to a variety of factors.

*FOR DRIVE-THRU TESTING RESULTS: Lab samples are sent to an off-site laboratory and results may take 2 to 5 days or even longer in some instances or in times of peak demand. Based on the off-site lab's volume your response time may vary.

*FOR FACE COVERINGS IN STORE: 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.

*FOR FREE RX DELIVERY OFFER: Free 1 to 2 day Rx delivery applies to orders from March 9 through April 30, 2021. Delivery is available for eligible prescription drug orders with qualifying prescription benefit programs and insurance plans. Order cutoff times may vary by delivery option and pharmacy location. 1 to 2 day delivery only available on orders placed Monday through Thursday. Delivery may be subject to delays. Not all delivery options are available to every address or from all pharmacy locations (CVS Pharmacy®, CVS Pharmacy at Target, CarePlus CVS Pharmacy® and Navarro® locations). Delivery fees apply and may vary by delivery option and location. Delivery of select nonprescription items is available with prescription delivery at participating locations. Nonprescription items are not available for delivery from CVS Pharmacy at Target locations. Selection of nonprescription items available may vary for online and in-store orders. Nonprescription items are charged at online prices, which may vary from store prices. Coupons, ExtraBucks® Rewards or in-store promotions with delivery may not be used with delivery orders. Online promotions cannot be used nor ExtraBucks Rewards earned with orders called into stores. Advance payment by credit, debit or FSA/HSA card required. In most cases, FSA/HSA cards may not be used for delivery fees. Other restrictions apply. Get details.

*FOR TELEHEALTH: Video Visit and E-Clinic Visits are available in select states. To receive these services, you will be connected to a trusted third-party provider.

*FOR DRIVE-THRU SHOPPING: Only available on transactions including a prescription. Select health items only. Price and in-stock availability may vary by store. See pharmacist for details.