Walmart is partnering with the state of Arkansas and Quest Diagnostics to bring a new drive-thru COVID-19 screening initiative to Northwest Arkansas.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said that the initiative is pilot project for a drive-thru screening facility for first responders and healthcare workers. It is set to be located in Bentonville.
According to Hutchinson, healthcare workers and first responders who believe they have COVID-19 symptoms will be able to use an app to self-test, and if it determines that they are symptomatic, they can visit the screening facility. This procedure, he said, is designed for the safety and health of the healthcare workers.
“This will put a focal point on them to make sure that they have immediate access to testing if they need it,” he said.
Walmart has participated in multiple drive-thru testing sites throughout the nation. On March 22, two federal testing sites opened in Walmart Supercenter parking lots in the Chicago areas for first responders and healthcare workers. These sites are staffed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services workers, according to a company news release. At the site, all volunteers have personal protective equipment and patients are required to remain in their vehicles.
“I’m very proud of the partnership with Walmart. They’ve been working on it nationally, but they wanted to be able to bring one of their pilot projects here to Arkansas,” he said. “As we get everything working well in Bentonville, hopefully we’ll be able to expand that to other parts of the state.”