Rite Aid announces ‘Back to School’ COVID-19 testing program

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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and BioReference Laboratories, Inc., have announced a ‘Back to School’ COVID-19 testing program. The effort will offer free COVID-19 testing to students in New York public schools before, or at the start of, the upcomng school year.

Students will be tested using RT-PCR laboratory-based COVID-19 tests.

To participate in the ‘Back to School’ testing program, students must pre-register and schedule a COVID-19 test appointment at one of the 115 Rite Aid drive-thru locations across New York prior to returning to the classroom

Among area stores offering the tests include those at 405 Erie Blvd. West in Rome; 141 Oriskany Blvd., Whitesboro; 4854 Commercial Drive, New Hartford; and 1924 Genesee St., Utica.

Testing appointments will become available prior to the start of the school year, and individuals are required to pre-register and schedule a time slot for testing a tbioreferencelabs.bioreference.com/nyschooltesting. Students ages 4-17 must access testing with consent from a parent or legal guardian and be accompanied by a guardian at time of testing in the drive-thru.

The ‘Back to School’ program includes The Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT), which is a program that helps reduce disease spread in schools, helping to ensure that schools are safe environments for learning, and supports the reopening of schools.

“Our work with HHS has enabled Rite Aid to be on the front lines of the pandemic since the beginning, doing our part to keep the communities we serve healthy,” said Jocelyn Konrad, executive vice president and chief pharmacy officer for Rite Aid.

“Providing access to COVID-19 testing for school-aged children is critical, particularly for those who are not able to be vaccinated, as we continue to fight the pandemic and get closer to a return to normal,” Konrad said.

Digital results will be delivered to parents for students to bring to school. COVID-19 testing is voluntary and will be provided at no cost to the student’s family or to the school district for this program.

“As governor, my priorities are now the priorities of the people of New York -- and right now that means fighting the Delta variant,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Number one on the list is getting children back to school and protecting the environment so they can learn safely. As a part of our efforts, we are launching a ‘Back to School’ COVID-19 testing program to make testing for students and staff widely available and convenient. We are proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, BioReference and Rite Aid on this important initiative.”

“BioReference is proud to continue supporting New York State’s active surveillance programs with this ‘Back to School’ testing program,” said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories. “It is imperative that we support programs that help to provide a safe environment for students to return to in-classroom learning.”

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