Five Hy-Vee stores in Minnesota are among the 47 that the grocery store chain is launching drive-up rapid antigen testing for COVID-19.
The tests are not free (pricing varies by location) and the only people eligible for the rapid test are those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or those who are asymptomatic but have had a known or reported exposure in the last 14 days.
The five Minnesota Hy-Vee locations that will be offering the rapid antigen tests starting Thursday or Friday this week are:
- Lakeville Hy-Vee, 16150 Pilot Knob Road: Testing begins Thursday, Dec. 10
- Mankato Hy-Vee, 2010 Adams St., Mankato, MN: Testing begins Thursday, Dec. 10
- New Hope Hy-Vee, 8200 42nd Ave. N.: Testing begins Friday, Dec. 11
- Oakdale Hy-Vee, 7180 10th St. N.: Testing begins Thursday, Dec. 10
- Rochester Hy-Vee, 4221 W. Circle Drive NW: Testing begins Friday, Dec. 11
Rapid antigen tests are done via a nasal swab and it only takes about two minutes to drive up and have a trained pharmacy employee conduct the swab. A person will be emailed results within 1-2 hours.
According to the CDC, antigen tests are not the "gold standard" for detecting the virus. That label goes to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and other nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). Due to lower sensitivity, rapid antigen tests may result in a negative result while a more sensitive test (RT-PCR or NAAT) may very well return a positive result.
Because of the lower sensitivity, those who test positive via a rapid antigen test are classified by the Minnesota Department of Health as "probable" COVID-19 cases.
Here are the steps you need to take to schedule an appointment (it'll require you registering with Hy-Vee before getting started):
- Take the COVID-19 assessment here.
- If you are eligible for a test, select a test location, date, and time for your appointment.
- DOWNLOAD and PRINT your test voucher and take it with you to the test site.
- Testing is only valid for the date printed on the voucher.
- Arrive outside of the Hy-Vee Pharmacy and follow directional signage with your test voucher, photo ID, phone, a credit/debit card and a mask to wear during the testing process. Testing will take place in a designated area in the store parking lot.
- Do NOT enter the store or pharmacy. Please remain in your vehicle with the window rolled up until staff arrives.
- Call the designated pharmacy number listed on signage to notify pharmacy members that you have arrived.
- A Hy-Vee pharmacy member will verify your information and take payment over the phone.
- A trained Hy-Vee pharmacy member will administer the test at your vehicle. Patients must wear a mask in their vehicle for the testing process. Collecting the specimen should take less than 2 minutes to perform.
- You will be notified by email when your results are available. Results may be available in as little as 1-2 hours.
Anyone who pays for the test is advised to save their receipt and submit it to their health insurance to see if the cost will be covered.