Kinney Drugs responds to Cuomo’s order allowing NY pharmacists to perform COVID-19 tests


Kinney Drugs on Coffeen Street in Watertown, NY in March 2020 (WWTI)

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWTI) – Governor Cuomo signed an executive order last week granting New York State pharmacists the ability to order and perform CLIA-waived COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing.

Pharmacists were previously not authorized to perform CLIA-waived tests in New York without an order from a physician or nurse practitioner. The new order removed this barrier for COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing.

A diagnostic test is performed on a patient who meets specific criteria to determine if the patient is currently infected with the COVID-19 virus. Diagnostic testing requires a high level of personal protective equipment and should be provided outside of the retail pharmacy in a drive-thru type setting.

An antibody test is performed to determine if a patient has had a COVID-19 infection in the past. Antibody testing can typically be offered in a routine pharmacy setting.

Kinney Drugs is assessing their 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, training staff, preparing and staffing testing sites, and documenting proper workflow and procedures.

“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 for updates,” she added.


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