Walmart to Begin Drone Delivery of Coronavirus Tests - TheStreet

Walmart to Begin Drone Delivery of Coronavirus Tests

Walmart is partnering with Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp, with service in North Las Vegas and Cheektowaga, N.Y.
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Retail colossus Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report announced Tuesday that it’s going to try drone delivery of coronavirus diagnostic kits to customers’ residences.

“In recent weeks, we’ve announced two drone trials, one to deliver select grocery and household essentials, and another to test delivery of certain health and wellness products,” Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product, wrote on Walmart’s website.

“Now Walmart is piloting drone delivery of at-home covid-19 self-collection kits,” he said.

“Walmart has partnered with Quest Diagnostics  (DGX) - Get Report and DroneUp, a nationwide drone-services provider, to launch trial deliveries of collection kits in North Las Vegas today and Cheektowaga, N.Y., in early October.” DroneUp is based in Virginia Beach, Va.

To qualify for drone delivery, patients, must live in a single-family residence within a one-mile radius of the designated Supercenters in North Las Vegas and Cheektowaga, which is at the western end of New York State, half an hour southeast of Niagara Falls. 

“The kits will land on the driveway, front sidewalk, or backyard of the customer’s home, depending on where there are cars and trees,” Ward said.

The drone delivers for free. “Once the kits are delivered, the person will perform a self-administered nasal swab … and send their sample back to Quest Diagnostics for testing using the included prepaid shipping label,” he said.

“There’s a lot we can learn from our drone-delivery pilots to help determine what roles drones can play in pandemic response, health care delivery and retail. 

"We hope drone delivery of self-collection kits will shape contactless testing capabilities on a larger scale and continue to bolster the innovative ways Walmart plans to use drone delivery in the future.”

Walmart shares recently traded at $137.60, up 0.4%. They have climbed 16% year to date.