Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates

Follow the latest updates of the outbreak on our timeline.

US drugstore chain Walgreens is planning to extend its drive-thru testing to 15 new sites in seven US states to help fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The move is part of the company’s commitment to offering quick Covid-19 testing results to patients visiting its stores.

This initiative is in collaboration with federal health agencies, as well as state and local authorities.

The states include Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. The additional sites were confirmed in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

These sites will be leveraging Abbott’s new ID NOW COVID-19 test, which can deliver positive results in less five minutes and negative results within 13 minutes.

The retailer is aiming to conduct up to 3,000 tests a day at the sites. The testing locations will be located outside the stores are expected to be activated later this week.

Walgreens president Richard Ashworth said: “Walgreens remains committed to working with federal, state and local governments, as well as industry partners to meet the needs of the communities we serve across the country during the pandemic.

“We’re continuing to do everything we can, both with our own resources and also by partnering with others, to serve as an access point within the community for Covid-19 testing.

“Opening our first drive-thru testing location last month has allowed us to quickly learn and develop an efficient and scalable process, and we’re pleased to be working with Abbott to help accelerate our efforts, and to enable quick results for those being tested.”

Walgreens pharmacists will oversee the self-administration of the Covid-19 test and it will be free for individuals who meet criteria set by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).