CVS Reacts After Pharmacist Tests Positive for Coronavirus

March 9, 2020
Christine Blank

The Warren County Health Department informed CVS Health that patients are considered to be at low risk, but is still taking precautions. 

A CVS pharmacist in New York who tested posited for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has been placed under quarantine and is receiving paid leave, a spokesperson told Drug Topics®.

CVS Health was notified on March 7 that the New York State Health Department confirmed that a pharmacist at CVS’s 5 Main Street in Queensbury, NY, tested positive for COVID-19.1 The store was closed on March 7 “in order to disinfect and sterilize the premises following our established protocols and CDC guidelines,” said Mike DeAngelis, senior director of corporate communications for CVS Health, in a statement.1

The Queensbury store reopened on March 8.

The pharmacist, along with his co-workers who were exposed, have been placed under quarantine consistent with CDC guidelines (14 days) and will be on paid leave.

Even though the Warren County Health Department informed CVS Health that patients of the pharmacy are considered to be at a “low risk”, “as a matter of precaution, we are assisting the state and county health departments contact patients who received prescription medication on the days our pharmacist worked at this location (March 2 and March 4) so that they can monitor their health and, if they choose, return and replace medications they were dispensed on those days,” DeAngelis said.

CVS also reminded patients that CVS Pharmacy offers prescription home delivery as an option for patients.

On March 6, CVS Health/Aetna explained its corporate COVID-19 response  on its website.2 Among other initiatives, the company is:

  •  “Developing travel, Work From Home, and other HR-related guidance to help employees stay safe and healthy.”

•     “…Working with our suppliers to meet customer demand for products being sought in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. This demand may cause temporary shortages for certain products at some store locations and we re-supply those stores as quickly as possible.”

•     “…Closely monitoring the global manufacturing environment. We do not see any disruptions to the supply chain that will affect our ability to fill prescriptions now and into the near future. We always encourage patients to refill maintenance medications in a timely manner.”

•     “Working with public health organizations and other stakeholders, including the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO), to boost awareness of our company’s emergency preparedness efforts and capabilities.”

•     Effective March 6, Aetna members can receive waived co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19 for Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid members; and no-cost co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason, “helping members limit potential exposure in physician offices.”

•     “We’re prepared to take action when necessary to ensure continuity of care. This includes temporary policy changes allowing Aetna and Caremark members to refill medications sooner than usual and/or obtain more days’ supply of medicine in a single fill,” CVS Health said.

 

References:

1. CVS Pharmacy statement on COVID-19 exposure at Queensbury store [news release]. CVS Health’s website. https://cvshealth.com/newsroom/press-releases/cvs-pharmacy-statement-covid-19-exposure-queensbury-store.

2. CVS Health response to the COVID-19 outbreak [news release]. CVS Health’s website. https://cvshealth.com/newsroom/press-releases/cvs-health-response-coronavirus-outbreak.

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