by Walgreens News
27 April 2020
FAQs & real-time information on our response to the coronavirus pandemic. Last updated May 1, 2020.

Our stores have always been at the heart of America’s communities – a role we take very seriously, especially during this unprecedented time for our country. We are doing everything we can to help ensure the health and well-being of our team members and customers during the pandemic, and that includes keeping everyone updated and informed.

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will continually update this page with our most up-to-date information on the company’s response and ongoing efforts in communities and across the United States.

Jump to:

Increasing access to COVID-19 testing


What's happening in our stores?

What's happening in our pharmacies?

Keeping our team members safe
 

 



How is Walgreens involved in government efforts to increase access to COVID-19 testing?

As originally announced on March 13, we are working with the Administration and state and local health officials to help provide and expand access to COVID-19 testing. On March 21, we activated our first drive-thru testing site in the Chicago area. See more details here.

As of April 27, we are expanding our COVID-19 testing efforts with plans to have drive-thru testing sites in 49 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, to help meet the growing need in communities nationwide.  With this latest expansion, we’ll focus our efforts on improving access to testing in underserved communities, and over time will also be working with companies to provide testing to employees, to help more businesses re-open in the weeks and months ahead. COVID-19 response requires collaboration across industries and sectors, and we are pleased to be working with lab partners to improve access to testing which will enable us to triple our testing capacity.

Testing locations are determined in collaboration with the Administration, federal health agencies and state and local authorities, and once all sites are fully operational, Walgreens expects to test more than 50,000 people each week. The scale and timing of the overall testing expansion is dependent on the availability of tests and overall lab capacity.

To date, Walgreens has activated COVID-19 testing in the following select locations:

?Alabama (Birmingham); Arizona (Tucson and El Mirage); Florida (North Miami and Plantation) Georgia (Alpharetta),?Illinois (Chicago, Bolingbrook, Springfield, Cahokia); Kentucky (Lexington);?Louisiana (Harvey); Michigan (Detroit); North Carolina (Durham); Oregon (Hillsboro); Tennessee (Memphis); Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Pasadena); and Wisconsin (Milwaukee).

For more information on testing locations, visit Walgreens.com/Covid19Testing. Additional COVID tools and resources can also be found through Walgreens Find Care® available on the Walgreens app or online at?Walgreens.com/findcare. 


How does the testing work?

At the testing locations, Walgreens pharmacists are overseeing the patient’s self-administration of a nasal swab Covid-19 test. Testing will be available at no cost to eligible individuals who meet CDC criteria.? The locations are operating 7 days a week, 9 am to 5pm, by appointment only. ?All drive-thru testing occurs outdoors and patients do not leave their vehicles throughout the process. 
 
In order to receive a tests individuals must first complete an online health assessment to determine eligibility available at visit Walgreens.com/Covid19Testing Additional COVID tools and resources can also be found through Walgreens Find Care® available on the Walgreens app or online at?Walgreens.com/findcare.
 


What is the expected time to provide test results? 
Patients will be informed of results in about 24 hours of testing in locations with the Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 test.  We’re continuing to work through details for additional testing locations using LabCorp’s COVID-19 diagnostic test and will have more information as these new testing locations open. The timeline to provide results in these locations will in part be determined by lab capacity to process results.

 
What steps are you taking to help ensure the health and safety of your employees and customers at the testing sites?
The health and safety of our customers, team members and communities are our top priority, now more than ever.  All testing site staff will be provided the necessary personal protective equipment as recommended by the CDC.  Patients being tested will not be permitted to leave their vehicles or to enter the store. 
 
 
LabCorp also announced plans to begin offering serology or antibody testing in a number of locations, including Walgreens stores. How will this work?
As part of a collaboration between Walgreens and LabCorp, LabCorp has opened patient services centers in select Walgreens stores which offer collection of specimens for a broad range of laboratory testing that is performed in LabCorp’s nationwide network of regional and specialty laboratories. The antibody tests will be administered by LabCorp in these patient centers, and require an order for a test through a doctor or healthcare provider, including telemedicine providers. We would refer you to LabCorp for any questions on antibody testing.
 
The antibody tests are for individuals who are asymptomatic but believe they have had the virus at least three weeks prior. They are currently available in approximately 100 LabCorp at Walgreens locations, with plans to be offered in up to 170 locations as soon as possible.

 
What’s happening in our stores? 

Will you be adjusting your operating hours?
Certain stores have updated operating hours to best meet the needs of the communities they serve. Customers and patients should visit our store locator for specific store and pharmacy hours. 


How are you supporting seniors during this time? 
At a time of heightened concerns for all of us, and especially for our senior patients, we’re continuing to do everything we can to help support our most vulnerable customers and patients. That’s why Walgreens health outcomes pharmacists, who are dedicated to helping to improving patient outcomes, are currently reaching out to our senior patients to ensure they receive the care and service they need, such as any prescription medications and product supply check-ins.
 
This also means ensuring customers with increased risks associated with COVID-19 feel safe when they are shopping with us. Starting Tuesday, March 24 and every Tuesday for the near future, Walgreens stores will open at 8 a.m., with the full hour from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. dedicated to senior citizens.  This hour is also available to their caregivers and immediate families may also visit the store during this time.* Additionally, we will offer our senior day discount all day on Tuesdays during this time. Customers age 55 and older will receive 30 percent off regularly priced Walgreens brands and 20 percent off regularly priced national brands. Restrictions may apply. Current quantity limits on certain high demand products will be required.
 
*Customers and patients should visit our store locator for specific pharmacy hours.



Are you offering additional products for purchase at pharmacy drive-thru?
 We play a critical role in providing patients and customers access to the care, products and services they need, and this is even more important as we work around the clock to support the COVID-19 pandemic. We are offering additional, select products at the pharmacy drive-thru to offer our customers convenience and peace of mind as communities across the country practice social distancing to fight the spread of COVID-19.

More than 60 front-end products are currently available for purchase at drive-thru, including household essentials chosen specifically to support the needs of customers and communities during the pandemic. These additional products include:
  • Cleaning supplies and sanitizers
  • Cough/cold, pain/fever and immunity support
  • Select grocery items
  • Infant formula/adult nutrition
  • Medical supplies/first aid
  • Paper goods
 
Customers may confirm product availability with the pharmacist or technician at the pharmacy drive-thru window. We are working around the clock to support the COVID-19 pandemic, and ask that customers practice patience as we work to provide this new service. 

How are your stores meeting recommendations for social distancing?

All stores now have social distancing lines, indicated with decals and signage that begin 6 feet away from checkout and pharmacy counters, and is marked in 6-foot increments to indicate where customers should stand while waiting.  

In addition, we are in the process of installing protective plastic shields in our stores chain-wide, with priority being given to our stores in the most impacted areas at this time. These barriers may help reduce or eliminate virus exposure (per CDC recommendations) in places where proper social distancing is not possible, such as at point of sale. They will be in place for both our front-end and pharmacy registers nationwide. We are working as quickly as possible to complete the installation across all of our stores.

 

 


  


   

 
Will you be installing plexiglass shields in your stores?
Yes, we are in the process of installing protective plastic shields in our stores chain-wide, with priority being given to our stores in the most impacted areas at this time.  We are working as quickly as possible to complete the installation across all of our stores. 

While we have taken additional measures to encourage social distancing, these barriers may help reduce or eliminate virus exposure (per CDC recommendations) in places where proper social distancing is not possible, such as at point of sale. They will be in place for both our front-end and pharmacy registers nationwide. 

This is one of our many efforts to help ensure the health and safety of our team members, customers and patients, and to align with CDC guidelines and recommendations.

 Are you requiring team members to wear masks behind the counter now that the CDC is recommending pharmacists and techs wear them?
 We now require team members in our stores to wear face covers, and continue to take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, public health officials and other credible sources while following federal, state and local health advisories. ?


Do customers entering Walgreens now have to wear a mask? 
Also consistent with CDC guidelines, customers are asked to wear face covers before entering the store except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age. We are instituting new front door signage instructing customers of the face cover requirement. 
 
Walgreens encourages customers to wear face coverings but out of concern for employees’ safety, advises against confronting customers about the policy or trying to keep them from entering stores. 

Is Walgreens providing wipes for customers to wipe down their carts and baskets? 
 Walgreens is in the process of providing wipes at the front of stores to clean shopping carts and baskets chain-wide, with priority being given to our stores in the most impacted areas at this time. We are working as quickly as possible to provide wipes at all of our stores as an additional step to promote the safety and wellbeing of our team members and customers. 


Our local Walgreens is out of certain products. Will they be restocked?
We have put into effect purchase limits on certain products to improve inventory and to help ensure products can be more widely available. In addition, we continue to work closely with supplier partners to address the current supply chain dynamics.
 
Are you limiting the purchase of any products?
Because of high demand, we’re limiting the purchase of thermometers, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide to one per product category, per customer. 

First aid antiseptic, disinfectant wipes and cleaners, hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue, and baby formula (excluding Illinois and Puerto Rico) purchases are now limited to two per product category, per customer. 

Face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer purchases are now limited to four per product category, per customer.

We are restocking stores as quickly as possible, and apologize for any inconvenience.


 
What is the best way for customers to stay up-to-date on product availability of high-demand items in your stores?
Our website updates with the latest available store inventory information frequently throughout the day. We’re continuing to see greater demand for a number of products across our stores nationwide, which may cause temporary shortages. We are restocking those stores as quickly as possible and continuing to work diligently with our supplier partners to best meet customer demands.
 
Do you have alternative ways for customers to get through a transaction without touching the keypad?
Customers may opt to purchase items with Apple Pay or with credits cards that offer contactless, “tap and pay” technology at the point-of-sale. Customers may also shop online at Walgreens.com, with free delivery on any purchases over $35.

 
Are you taking extra precautions to keep your stores clean?
Our stores have gone to a set 9am-9pm schedule (other than on Tuesdays, which have designated senior hour from 8am-9am) to allow additional deep cleaning of stores, stocking of medicines and products, and rest for our people on the front lines

Stores are increasing the frequency of daily cleaning procedures including cleaning high-traffic areas counter tops and point-of-sale terminals, with additional deep cleaning being conducted by a professional cleaning service at all stores. Our team members are taking appropriate protective steps such as wearing gloves during this cleaning process all distribution centers are proactively pushing out additional cleaning and sanitization items to stores nationwide for team member use. We're also removed multi-use testers for beauty products and will not be offering makeover services at this time.
 
We are working to send cleaning supplies to our stores on an ongoing basis. The situation is fluid regarding supply and given these unprecedented circumstances, we are taking additional measures to provide team members the items they need. As an example, we have expanded our hand sanitizer supplier base from two suppliers to more than 10 suppliers to ensure we can increase manufacturing and flow of inventory to our stores. By doing so, we have commitments for amounts significantly in excess to our typical annual demand.  Stores are also encouraged to use inventory from products for sale such as cleaning supplies, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, isopropyl alcohol, etc, as needed.  
 

Are you hiring additional team members for your stores?
As we deal with significant demands on our stores and pharmacies during this time, we’re looking to fill roughly 9,500 existing full- and part-time roles in stores across the U.S., primarily in these positions:

•Customer service associates (CSAs)
•Pharmacy technicians
•Shift leads
 
Candidates can visit jobs.walgreens.com to search for openings in their area, with positions being added regularly based on local store and pharmacy needs. In addition, as Walgreens continues to assess its needs related to the coronavirus situation, it will look to begin filling additional temporary CSA positions starting next week to help bolster in-store staffing. Some of these temporary positions might potentially lead to full-time job placement. 
 
Are Walgreens photo kiosks still open?
We have reduced the photo kiosk availability by shutting down kiosks as necessary in each store to ensure customers are maintaining social distancing. Minimally, one kiosk must still operate in store to help with critical passport options and essential services like Western Union.

What happens when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your store?
Walgreens champions the health and wellbeing of every community in America, and we are committed to providing a safe environment for our team members and customers. When notified of a confirmed or presumed positive COVID-19 case, we take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, public health officials and other credible sources while following federal, state and local health advisories. Our clinical and safety teams work closely with our field and store leadership to respond accordingly, which may include identifying and contacting individuals who may be at risk in order to self-quarantine or self-monitor their health, as well as cleaning and disinfecting the location or impacted areas of the store. Cleanings may require temporarily closing a store, at which time customers may visit a nearby store location for their prescription needs.
 
We are actively reviewing our policies and procedures as guidelines evolve, and will continue to adjust our safety protocols accordingly to promote the safety and wellbeing of our team members and customers. 



What’s happening in our pharmacies?
 
How are you preparing pharmacy staff to address patient questions regarding COVID-19?
Working closely with our clinical and safety teams, we continuously share the latest information from the CDC and other health officials with our pharmacy team members to serve as a resource and help address any patient questions/concerns.
 
Our pharmacists are trained and equipped to discuss medication-related concerns and alternative methods for prescription dispensing, such as prescription delivery or drive thru options. Patients can reach a Walgreens pharmacist via phone, in store or using the pharmacy chat option on our website and Walgreens app. Our pharmacy team also partners with health plan partners, physicians and state officials to help patients access the medications they need through services like 90-day medication supply, early refill authorizations and prescription delivery services.
 
How can patients access their prescriptions if they are being quarantined or want to avoid going in-store? 
Patients looking for alternative ways to access their prescriptions may use our pharmacy drive-thru, and Walgreens is waiving delivery fees for all eligible prescriptions. Patients should talk to their pharmacists to confirm their prescriptions are eligible for delivery at this time. They can also send a representative to pick up their medications on their behalf if they choose.

Are pharmacists still giving vaccines?

As recommended by the CDC, we are postponing all non-essential immunizations at this time. We are offering to schedule appointments in June or at a later date, which we will evaluate as the COVID situation evolves. ? 
 


Are you experiencing shortages of hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine phosphate, remdisivir, baloxavir and lopinavir/ritonavir? 

 
At this time, Walgreens has maintained an adequate supply and inventory of these medicines and are able to meet the prescription needs of our current patients. Patients with questions about their medications can reach out any time via phone or using the pharmacy chat option available on Walgreens.com and Walgreens app.

To help ensure these medicines remain available for existing patients, Walgreens issued guidelines to our pharmacies on prescriptions for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for existing and new patients who do not have a prior history of use. These guidelines are as follows: 
 
  • 14 day supply limit for new prescriptions 
  • 30 day supply limit for refill or prescriptions with a prior history of use 
  • All active 90 day-prescriptions should be limited to 30 days 
Our pharmacies were also reminded to follow the requirements in their state, which may be more restrictive.

 
Keeping our team members safe
 
 
Are you providing hazard pay for your team members?
Our team members are the face of Walgreens, supporting customers, patients and communities across America, who are relying on us now more than ever. To assist team members with unexpected expenses incurred during the pandemic as they are doing everything they can to support customers, patients and communities across America, we are providing a one-time payment of $300 for full-time and $150 for part-time hourly team members working in our stores and distribution centers. This includes hourly and salaried pharmacists who are actively employed as of the date of the payment. You can find more details here. 


Why is Walgreens keeping its stores open, even in states that have declared a state of emergency?
Walgreens champions the health and wellbeing of every community in America, playing a critical role in providing patients and customers access to the care, products and services they need. This is even more important as we work around the clock to support the COVID-19 pandemic.   
 
We are closely monitoring this situation and will adjust our business operations and policies based on all federal, state and local health advisories. We are also in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as other health organizations. In most if not all of these cases, the state or local government continues to ask essential retailers like Walgreens to remain open at this time. As this situation evolves, we are actively reviewing our policies, procedures and operations to promote the safety and wellbeing of our team members and customers.

As of March 18, we announced that we will be temporarily reducing our operating hours. By operating with reduced hours, our stores will be able to spend the necessary time, while closed, cleaning, sanitizing and stocking shelves each day. We’re also adjusting our hours to help team members and customers feel comfortable and safe to shop our store during this time. 
 
What plans do you have to provide face coverings for your employees?

As of April 3, 2020, Walgreens began distributing face covers for our in-store team members, pharmacists, and employees in our distribution centers and centralized services.

We now require team members to wear face covers, and continue to take actions meeting or exceeding recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, public health officials and other credible sources while following federal, state and local health advisories. Team members may also choose to wear their own personal face cover, such as a homemade face cover, in compliance with recommendations. Team members are also required to follow CDC guidelines focused on social distancing and frequent hand washing.
 

Why aren’t you providing your employees with gloves? 
 In our stores, we have implemented a number of measures to protect our teams including social distancing guidance and decals, plexiglass shields, additional hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and, recently, face covers. Frequent handwashing with soap and water or use of hand sanitizer remains among the most effective ways of protecting against the coronavirus. 
 
Are you doing temperature checks in your stores? 
 We are conducting daily health checks for team members in our distribution centers, centralized services and other select locations.  
 

Is your pharmacy considering going drive-thru only?
We are actively reviewing our policies, procedures and operations to promote the safety and wellbeing of our team members and customers. We also expanded our offering to additional products at the pharmacy drive-thru as our customers practice social distancing to fight the spread of COVID-19.

 
What is the expectation for employees who aren’t feeling well?

All employees who are not feeling well and have symptoms associated with COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home and contact their primary care physician.  We have protocols in place to self-isolate employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 by test or who have been given a presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 by their primary care physician, and corresponding guidelines for other employees who have had close contact with the person with symptoms.

 
Would hourly team members be paid if they take sick time due to a COVID-19 incident in store, or are diagnosed with COVID-19?
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our focus continues to be supporting our store team members and pharmacists, who are on the front lines as we navigate this difficult time in our country. To help our team members through this period, we’ve made several key changes regarding team member pay and benefits, including:
 
  1. Relaxing our attendance policy for hourly team members through the end of April, permitting team members to stay at home due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 for situations including childcare needs due to school closures, or if team members are showing flu- or COVID-19-like symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.
     
  2. Paying team members for up to the first two weeks of their absence if they contract a confirmed case of COVID-19. The team member will not be required to use paid time off (PTO) or vacation time, and/or apply for disability benefits during this time. If team members are unable to recover and return to work after two weeks, an additional pay option may be available via disability leave.
     
  3. Ensuring that if a store, area office, distribution center or other company workplace location falls under a mandated quarantine, any impacted team members will be paid for their absence without requiring the use of PTO.
We are continually monitoring the situation and actively reviewing policies and options for team members, and we’re committed to taking the most appropriate steps necessary, in the best interest of our team members and customers.
 
All Walgreens team members, whether at our support centers, our stores, or our distribution centers, play a special role in helping our customers and patients during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. With our commitment to our customers and patients – and each other – we make decisions on how we work with care and attention, to ensure our stores and public websites are fully functional and operational at the highest level. 



How else are you supporting your team members during this time?
A resource for all Walgreens employees year-round, the company offers free access to Life365, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers confidential behavioral health, childcare, legal support and more. The confidential program can help team members manage current day stressors like balancing work and family during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping their loved ones safe, and providing relevant guidance from trained counselors all intended to keep them feeling healthy and resilient. Life365’s trained specialists are governed by federal and state licensing laws and are ready to assist team members 24/7.