drive-thru testing

You can now get a drive-thru COVID-19 test at 10 Houston-area CVS stores

You can now get a drive-thru COVID-19 test at 11 Houston CVS stores

CVS self-swab COVID-19 test
The self-swab test is overseen by a CVS employee. Photo courtesy of CVS

The nation's largest pharmacy chain is rapidly expanding its COVID-19 testing, promising to open more than 1,000 new sites across the U.S. by the end of May.

On May 22, CVS will launch 44 of these in Texas, including 11 in the Houston area.

CVS offers drive-thru, contactless testing for the novel coronavirus, which means that, yes, the test is self-administered. Patients must first make an appointment online (a doctor referral is not required) and meet the necessary criteria per the Centers for Disease Control. 

After approval, the patient must come to their nearest location at the assigned time. Walk-up testing is not available.

At the drive-thru site, the person remains in their vehicle while an employee confirms their identity and provides instructions on how to administer the self-swab test. The CVS team member then watches to ensure the swab is done correctly.

The test is then returned to the CVS employee and sent to an off-site lab for processing. Results should be received in two to three days.

No testing will happen inside the retail stores or CVS Minute Clinics, notes a release.

Here, COVID-19 testing is available at the following CVS locations within 30 miles of Houston:

  • 15010 Memorial Dr., Houston
  • 1003 Richmond Ave., Houston
  • 5402 Westheimer Rd., Houston
  • 12550 Louetta Rd., Cypress
  • 26265 Northwest Fwy., Cypress
  • 5603 FM1960 W., Houston
  • 2469 Bay Area Blvd., Clear Lake
  • 2232 Repsdorph Rd., Seabrook
  • 5002 West Main St., League City
  • 25110 Grogans Mill Rd., Spring
  • 8754 Spring Cypress Rd., Spring

Each site has the capacity to conduct 50 tests per day, and most health insurance companies will not require patients to pay out-of-pocket costs to get the COVID-19 test. If you do not have insurance, bring your driver's license, a photo ID, or Social Security card with you.

CVS began its COVID-19 response in April, deploying testing sites largely in the Northeast. According to the company, shifting to self-swab tests allows the pharmacy chain to administer more coronavirus tests faster.

"While the large-scale test sites we've been operating since early April have proven successful, this new approach allows us to utilize our presence in communities across the country and bring testing closer to home," said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO, of CVS Health, in a release. "Our frontline employees will continue to play a critical role in the testing process, with members of their communities directly benefitting from their dedication and selflessness."