GOUVERNEUR, NY – On Saturday, April 25, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order (EO) granting NYS pharmacists the ability to order and perform CLIA-waived COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing. Previously, pharmacists were not authorized to perform CLIA-waived tests in NY without an order from a physician or nurse practitioner. The new Executive Order removed this barrier for COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing.
A diagnostic test is performed on a patient who meets specific criteria to ascertain if the patient is currently infected with the COVID-19 virus. An antibody test is performed to ascertain if a patient has had a COVID-19 infection in the past. Diagnostic testing requires a high level of personal protective equipment (PPE) and should be provided outside of the retail pharmacy, in a drive-thru type setting. Antibody testing can typically be offered in a routine pharmacy setting.
Kinney Drugs is actively assessing our ability to provide both diagnostic and antibody testing. The company is in the process of developing a plan, which includes sourcing an adequate supply of test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE), training staff, preparing and staffing testing sites, and documenting proper workflow and procedures. Kinney is engaging with partners at the state level as part of this process and will keep the public updated when testing can be made available.
“Kinney’s top priority has always been the health and safety of our patients and employees. We are happy that pharmacists have been called upon to take a significant role in the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize the importance of testing in curtailing the spread of coronavirus,” said Rebecca Bubel, R.Ph., President of Kinney Drugs. “We’d like to assure everyone that our pharmacy teams are working very hard to rise to this challenge and will provide more information on testing as soon as we possibly can. Please check our website at www.kinneydrugs.com for updates,” she added.
About Kinney Drugs: Founded in Gouverneur, NY in 1903, today the independent, employee-owned company operates 97 stores in New York and Vermont. Kinney Drugs is part of the KPH Healthcare Services family of companies, a national provider of pharmaceutical and healthcare services with complementary businesses in both the retail and commercial segments of the industry. KPH is comprised of four divisions: (1) Kinney Drugs, a chain of full-service drug stores throughout New York and Vermont; (2) Health Direct Institutional Pharmacy Services, which serves long-term care and alternative care needs; (3) ProAct, Inc., a pharmacy benefit management company with sales offices throughout the country and a mail-order pharmacy; and (4) Noble Health Services, a specialty pharmacy that dispenses medications used to treat complex and chronic diseases. KPH Healthcare Services is a 100% employee-owned company with more than 4,000 employees that provides the highest quality pharmacy and healthcare services. Every aspect of KPH’s business is guided by the values of excellence, moral responsibility, and community spirit.