CINCINNATI – Kroger Health has received Emergency Clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 home collection test kit.
The kit will be available to Kroger employees this week based on medical needs.
From Kroger Health:
Kroger Health, the health division of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved emergency use for the COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. The test solution combines the safety and convenience of sampling at home with the expert guidance of a telemedicine consultation to improve the quality of the collection process.
Kroger Health’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit will be available this week to frontline workers across the Kroger family of companies based on medical needs. Working with Gravity Diagnostics, a full-service clinical laboratory in Covington, KY, Kroger Health plans to rapidly expand the availability of the Home Collection kits to other companies and organizations in the coming weeks to perform up to 60,000 tests per week End of July.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our employees and our customers remains a top priority,” said Colleen Lindholz, President of Kroger Health. “Kroger Heath continues to be committed to helping people live healthier lives through our multidisciplinary team of licensed, trained and experienced healthcare providers. In the past few months, Kroger Health has given Americans access to COVID-19 testing through community testing sites across the country. However, we have found that some people do not have access to transportation or live near these community test locations. To reduce this burden and ensure better accessibility, we first offer our employees a home test solution, followed by other companies and organizations. ”
Kroger Health’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit: How It Works
The house pick-up is carried out under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. The process is simple and available free of charge to eligible patients who meet established clinical criteria for likely COVID-19 infection or exposure.
· Patients have access to a website where they can answer screening questions, enter their organization’s service code and a unique code such as an employee ID, and complete a clinical evaluation. When a patient qualifies, a healthcare professional will write a prescription and the house collection kit will be sent to their home within 24 to 48 hours.
· The Home Collection Kit contains a nasal swab, a transport vial, an instruction sheet, a prepaid shipping label and packaging material for returning the sample to the laboratory.
· After receiving the home collection kit, a healthcare professional will lead the home collection process via telemedicine – a bidirectional video chat. Direct observation helps ensure that the correct sampling technique is used.
· The patient then sends their sample to the lab for processing overnight, which takes an average of 24 to 48 hours.
In the laboratory, the collection is subjected to a molecular diagnostic test – a test that detects parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can be used to diagnose an active infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
· If the test results for an active infection are negative, the results are posted to the patient’s electronic health record portal. Alternatively, patients can be called if they do not agree to use the portal. For a patient whose test result is positive, a healthcare professional will contact them by phone to find a recommended treatment.
· The test results are only available to the patient and are only passed on to his organization if the patient approves the publication of his results. All results are reported to state health authorities as required by law.
“As the number of COVID-19 cases increases in our country, physical distancing, wearing protective masks and testing remain of the utmost importance to smooth the curve,” said Jim Kirby, senior director of Kroger Health. “We know flexible, accessible testing options, such as home solutions that leverage telehealth technology, are critical to accelerating the reopening and restoration of America.”
Kroger Health’s COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit will initially be available in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. More states will be added in the coming weeks.
Kroger Health set up public COVID-19 test sites for drives through and inspections in April. Since then, Kroger Health has performed more than 100,000 tests in 19 states.
Gravity Diagnostic Information:
Gravity Diagnostics is a state-of-the-art, full-service CLIA laboratory licensed in all 50 states offering innovative laboratory tests including infectious diseases (upper respiratory tract and sexually transmitted), toxicology, and pharmacogenomics. We are an advocate for doctors, patients, and our communities, serving them with unmatched integrity, regulatory compliance, and clinical expertise. For more information, please visit vitydiagnostics.com.
About Kroger Health:
Kroger Health, the health division of The Kroger Co., is one of the leading retail health organizations in America. Over 2,000 pharmacies and 200 clinics in 35 states serve more than 14 million customers. Our team of 22,000 healthcare doctors – from pharmacists and nurses to dietitians and technicians – are committed to helping people live healthier lives. We believe in practicing at the top of our licenses and enabling “food as medicine” to prevent or treat certain diseases. Learn more at www.krogerhealth.com.
About Kroger Co .:
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) we are Fresh for Everyone ™ and we are dedicated to our goal: to feed the human spirit. We are almost half a million employees in our corporate family who serve over 11 million customers every day through a seamless shopping experience under various banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To find out more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations website.