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COVID-19 tests could soon come to your home — by drone

Updated September 22, 2020 - 11:33 am

Walmart is taking to the skies to deliver at-home COVID-19 testing kits in North Las Vegas.

The retailer said Tuesday that it is piloting drone delivery of the at-home kits to North Las Vegas residents as Walmart looks for new contactless ways to reach customers.

Walmart said it has partnered with Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp, a national drone services provider, to launch trial deliveries of collection kits in North Las Vegas starting Tuesday.

Here’s how the drone delivery works: Patients must live in a single-family home within a 1-mile radius of the designated Supercenters in North Las Vegas, and the kit will land on the driveway, front sidewalk, or backyard of the customer’s home. There’s no delivery or kit cost for customers who choose to receive the kit via drone. Once the kits are delivered, the patient will perform a nasal swab and send the sample back to Quest Diagnostics for testing using the included prepaid shipping label.

According to Quest Diagnostics, drone deliveries will launch from the North Las Vegas Walmart, at 1807 West Craig Road, to homes within a 1-mile radius of the store. The drone program will be available every day from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather and visibility permitting.

Residents can check on this website to see if they are eligible for the drone delivery program.

“There’s a lot we can learn from our drone delivery pilots to help determine what roles drones can play in pandemic response, health care delivery and retail,” Tom Ward, a senior vice president at Walmart, said in a statement. “We hope drone delivery of self-collection kits will shape contactless testing capabilities on a larger scale and continue to bolster the innovative ways Walmart plans to use drone delivery in the future.”

Contact Jonathan Ng at jng@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ByJonathanNg on Twitter.

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