Rite Aid expands free COVID testing to teens after previously saying tests would cost $115

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After first announcing that COVID-19 tests for teens and adults would soon cost $115 each, Rite Aid followed up, within hours, saying this would not actually be the case.

Up until now, the pharmacy chain offered free tests for adults only, whether they were symptomatic or not. Now, that has been expanded for anyone age 13 or older.

Rite Aid’s original announcement on Tuesday morning said that starting December 1, those tests would come with a fee, due to “the end of federal funding for diagnostic testing by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”

Not long after this, another update was released, effectively dispelling the previous update in order to allow an upcoming one to take its place. This was due to what was referred to as “a late-breaking update from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

In the latest news release, Rite Aid announced the inclusion of free testing for teens, but it’s still not clear what the update from the federal government was.

“We’re proud to continue serving as an essential part of the pandemic response in the neighborhoods we serve,” said Heyward Donigan, president and chief executive officer, Rite Aid. “Continuing to make testing available – and now, to a broader age range – is an important next step in continuing to fight COVID-19.”

Those looking to get a test must pre-register online. Tests take place on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but there will be no testing from November 26-30.

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