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.

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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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