Walmart delivering COVID testing kits via drone

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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — It might be one of the most 2020 things yet: Walmart recently launched a pilot program using drones to deliver COVID-19 testing kits. This means instead of driving to a site, the tests fly straight to you.

There are some requirements to qualify for a kit delivery. People interested must go online and first answer some questions; you can also only be eligible for drone delivery if you live within one mile of the Walmart on Walden Avenue, which is one of two locations in the United States doing this program – the other is in Las Vegas, NV.

From there, the process is easy. Once you qualify, the drone will be dispatched from Walmart and land on the customer’s lawn, driveway or backyard depending on where there are cars or trees. The person will then self-administer the nose swab, seal it back into the kit before shipping it to Quest Diagnostics with the help of FedEx.

Cheektowaga resident Kelly Payne says Walmart officials told her she was the first person in Western New York to have this kit delivered via drone. While she isn’t showing any symptoms of COVID-19, Payne works in the healthcare field and is immunocompromised which is why she says it’s better to be safe than sorry and get tested.

Company officials say this program will shape how Walmart does contactless testing in the future.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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