CINCINNATI, Aug. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), today announced the launch of COVIDCare Plus, a complete employer-focused health and wellness solution designed to help American companies restart and maintain their business operations. The testing program is centered on Kroger Health's FDA-authorized COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit which combines self-administered testing with virtual supervision by a licensed healthcare provider to help ensure the highest level of accuracy of test results.

Kroger Health launches COVIDCare Plus, combining testing and management with industry-leading healthcare services.

As case counts rise and demand for testing increases, providing adequate amounts of COVID-19 testing continues to be a challenge. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), demand for testing has tripled while results are taking up to three weeks to deliver in the hardest-hit areas. Speed of reporting results is a critical component to help quell the spread of COVID-19.

"We know testing continues to be a critical pillar in the fight against COVID-19," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. "And yet, our country faces ongoing challenges to keep pace with demand. At Kroger Health, we are grateful to be part of the solution by providing employers with COVID-19 testing that has a short turnaround time. This is paramount to keeping American businesses open and people at work."

Kroger Health's COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit includes a telehealth consultation provided at the time of specimen collection. Supervision of the collection process by a licensed healthcare professional improves the quality of the sample collected, increases accessibility, and reduces patient anxiety. Through Kroger Health's strategic partnership with CLIA-certified laboratory Gravity Diagnostics, testing can be administered comfortably at home, with results delivered in 24-48 hours. Samples are collected via mid-turbinate nasal swabs – the same process that Kroger Health has deployed at its COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites, where its multidisciplinary team has collectively administered 150,000 tests.

In addition to COVID-19 testing and management services, COVIDCare Plus will offer employers and their teams access to advanced clinical services like vaccinations, telehealth, and telenutrition. These services are focused on driving actionable behavior change that helps combat the larger crisis of chronic disease that affects nearly half of Americans. According to the 2020 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health, 72% of Americans are either overweight or obese, and more than 100 million Americans suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes. The study also states that poor diet is now the leading cause of poor health in the United States. Kroger Health's expertise in "food as medicine" combined with Kroger's position as America's largest grocery retailer enables a broad set of solutions that address health, wellness, and nutrition.

"We are solving for the pandemic while building for the epidemic," Lindholz said. "COVID-19 is our clear focus in the short term and we have a strong plan in place to help drive our country's recovery efforts. However, we know that – now more than ever – a focus on health and wellness needs to become an ongoing way of life for all of us. That's why we are committed to providing organizations with the services we know their employees and stakeholders need to stay healthy."

Kroger Health is the fourth-largest retail healthcare organization in America, with over 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers. COVIDCare Plus is currently available in 17 states, with more coming soon.

To learn more about the program or to request testing services visit krogerhealth.com.   

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To download images of the Kroger Health COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit, please visit here.           

About Gravity Diagnostics
Gravity Diagnostics is a full-service state-of-the-art CLIA laboratory licensed in all 50 states providing innovative laboratory testing including Infectious Disease (Upper Respiratory and Sexually Transmitted), Toxicology, and Pharmacogenomics. We are an advocate for physicians, patients, and our communities, supporting them with unsurpassed integrity, regulatory compliance, and clinical expertise. Learn more by visiting gravitydiagnostics.com.

About Kroger Health
Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co., is one of America's leading retail healthcare organizations, with over 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics in 35 states serving more than 14 million customers. Our team of 22,000 healthcare practitioners - from pharmacists and nurse practitioners, to dietitians and technicians – are committed to helping people live healthier lives. We believe in practicing at the top of our licenses and enabling "food as medicine" to help prevent and manage chronic disease. We are dedicated to providing testing and wellness services to help Americans combat the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more at www.krogerhealth.com.

About The Kroger Co.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.

The Kroger Co. Logo (PRNewsfoto/The Kroger Co.)

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SOURCE The Kroger Co.

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