Walmart's latest drone trial delivers at-home COVID-19 tests

A pilot project is underway in North Las Vegas.

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Jan 9, 2020 Mountain View / CA/ USA - People shopping at a Walmart store in south San Francisco bay area
Andrei Stanescu via Getty Images

Walmart is starting to deliver at-home COVID-19 tests by drone. A trial got underway in North Las Vegas today and the deliveries will expand to Cheektowaga, New York early next month.

It’s delivering the kits to qualifying patients who live within a mile of certain Walmart Supercenters in both locales. Patients will self-administer a nasal swab, which they’ll send to Quest Diagnostics for testing.

Walmart says there’s no kit or delivery cost for those who opt to receive a test by drone, and there’s a prepaid shipping label to return it. Quest’s average turnaround time for tests is two days, and just over one day for priority patients.

The trial is an expansion of Walmart’s testing efforts. It has offered drive-through testing at dozens of locations over the last several months. The company also recently received FAA approval to deliver groceries and household goods by drone, and it started a pilot program to do just that.

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