Recently Kroger Health announced about launching COVID-19 rapid antibody testing at pharmacy locations. On October 28 became known that now new offering from the company will help inform patients if they have recently been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, with most results confirmed in 15 minutes.
“The FDA-authorized rapid antibody tests—conducted using a finger-prick blood sample—are now available at Kroger pharmacies in California (Ralphs) and Michigan and will be available at all Kroger pharmacies and clinics by the end of November. The tests, which are supplied by Whitmire Medical, are available to Kroger customers for $25 and typically provide results within 15 minutes. Individuals who believe they may have previously been infected with COVID-19 and are not currently experiencing symptoms are eligible for the test,” – the company said.
45% Labs Have Testing Capacity for COVID-19
American Society of Microbiology (ASM) has partnered with Association of Supply Chain Management to develop a survey to collect testing supplies status for both COVID-19 tests, as well as other microbiological tests, to highlight, and ultimately alleviate, these debilitating supply chain issues.
“Starting September 11, ASM began independently collecting shortage data directly from clinical labs, which allows us to draw attention to the data provided by laboratory directors and practicing clinical microbiologists without external influence. We will collect this data over the course of 6 weeks and share our findings each week on the most recent shortages of medium, reagents, collection devices and consumables that are significantly impacting day-to-day testing for both COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, along with week-over-week longitudinal changes,” – was said in the article.
According to the research, 122 CLIA-certified labs have responded to the survey and report running at an average of 42.5% testing capacity for COVID-19. As a subset of clinical microbiology labs in the U.S., this data highlights that supply shortage is still an ongoing concern.
The results also show that:
- 73% have a shortage of commercial testing kits for SARS-CoV-2
- 65% of labs have a shortage of non-COVID-19 testing supplies for detection of routine bacteria (including the bacteria causing strep throat, pneumonia, bronchitis and urinary tract infections)
- 70.8% of labs have a shortage of supplies for molecular detection of sexually transmitted infections
- 17.6% have a shortage of supplies for mycobacteria testing (including testing for tuberculosis (TB), Buruli ulcer, and pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease)
- 50% of labs have a shortage of supplies for routine fungal testing (ranging from superficial, localized skin conditions to deeper tissue infections to serious lung, blood (septicemia) or systemic diseases)
How Testing Is Going?
Kroger Health’s rapid antibody tests are conducted by a licensed health professional using a fingerstick blood sample and the Assure COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device, a rapid lateral flow chromatographic immunoassay (configured like a blood sugar test) to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroger Heath has remained committed to helping people live healthier lives by offering in-clinic and at-home COVID-19 testing solutions supported by our multi-disciplinary team of licensed, trained and experienced healthcare providers,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health.
“Making rapid antibody testing available across our family of pharmacies will not only provide an affordable and convenient testing solution for individuals who want to understand if they have previously been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, but also help clinicians understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and potential public health strategies for fighting the disease.”