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The coronavirus is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetimes. A lot of people have a lot of questions about it, how does the coronavirus attach to the individual, what can the individual do in order to provide the right protection for him, what are companies doing to combat the virus? Specifically, for example, CVS is one of the companies in the forefront of providing coronavirus aid.
From selling pharmaceutical needs of individuals to selling N95 masks and N95 respirators, CVS has done a great job in ensuring that they will provide the United States citizens of everything that they will need to battle the coronavirus. In this article, let us discuss the great efforts that had been done by CVS and what it is all about.
What Is CVS?
CVS, formerly known as Consumer Value Store, was first known as a health and beauty product store. Before they were known as an option for where to buy N95 masks, CVS was already focused on health and beauty.
It was founded in 1963 by brothers Stanley and Sidney Goldstein and partner Ralph Hoagland in Lowell, Massachusetts. In a span of one year, the grocery chain grew into 17 stores. It was only in 1967 when CVS began the operation of its first stores that focused on pharmacy and pharmaceutical sales. By 1969, CVS was sold to Melville Corporation. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, CVS had been a long standing source of medicine and pharmaceutical aid across the United States. Long before it sold N95 masks and N95 respirators, a lot of individuals have looked to CVS as a source of comfort in distressing times.
What Is The History of CVS With Selling N95 Masks?
CVS has a long standing history of selling and providing what the United States needs. Historically, the following are the steps that they took to take control and provide aid to the United States and the specific needs of the times.
In 1990, CVS acquired more than 500 stores from People’s Drug. It established that the company is here to stay. A year later, they purchased the Prescription Health Services. It took quite a lot of time but in ten years, Caremark was also able to launch online prescription refills. It was also during this period that the company launched CVS.com. The website of the company is the first fully integrated online pharmacy in the United States.
In the year 2000, the retail health centers of CVS became the Minute Clinic. It was also this year that the company was able to acquire Stadtlander pharmacy which made CVS ProCare the most reliable and the largest specialty pharmacy in the United States.
In 2002, CVS continued to grow and announced their entry to the Texas state. They also gave birth to the concept of the Minute Clinic by the end of that year. By the year 2009, MinuteClinic began a series of affiliations with major health systems across the United States. The main goal was to provide the best experience for individuals and their healthcare needs as well. To date, CVS is in the forefront of making sure that every individual in the United States will have access to the right kind of pricing for their medical needs.
In today’s high demand for N95 masks for individuals, CVS has had to deal with a little challenge, especially in the front of selling N95 masks.
2020: The Year Of The Coronavirus
The demand for N95 masks, N95 respirators, and all other personal protective equipment have never been at its highest compared to the demand that the population has for 2020.
Of course, there were some issues of price gouging and economic hoarding in order to create problems with the demand. Some individuals hoarded the supply and drove the price up. The good thing is that CVS was on top of things to deter such illegal actions of some individuals.
By February 2020, the supply for the N95 masks and the N95 respirators, faced a big challenge. As more people came out to buy Clorox wipes, bleach, and sprays, CVS had to make sure that they only release a limited supply for individuals. Some stores required that they need to show off some identification to buy N95 masks while some stores focused on making sure that one individual could only get a week’s supply.
The CVS spokesperson Joe Goode said that the shortages began back in early February. Goode said that the CVS is resupplying as much as they can and as quickly as they can to make sure that they do not have issues in providing their clients with what they need. The temporary shortages, however, were just that, temporary. Goode did not identify the companies and the stores that need to have their stocks replenished.
However, it is clear that there is a need to address the issue. Of course, CVS has proven that they can provide what the United States needs in terms of N95 masks since it is known that they are continuously proving the N95 masks needs even up to this day. In helping the United States combat the coronavirus, CVS was able to properly prepare and provide the need as they come.
Inevitably, CVS’ commitment to freeing up the N95 mask supply chain has meant that it is unable to provide these high quality masks to the everyday American. Clinical Supplies USA, on the other hand, has made this a possibility by offering a wide variety of 3M N95 masks, including the 8511 and the 8210.
What Has CVS Been Doing To Combat The Coronavirus?
CVS ensured that the first thing they do is internally prepare for the problem. Through the work of the CVS Health Enterprise Response & Resiliency Team and Infectious Disease Response Team, CVS not only ensured that they would address any problems with potential shortages of N95 masks but they also ensured that teams were prepared to deal with the problem.
First, they actively monitored the domestic environment. They answered the questions on coronavirus-related issues and made sure that they prepare for it as they come. They also monitored the international environment of the supply chain for N95 masks and N95 respirators in order to properly address the issue.
Another step that CVS took is to collaborate with their partners internationally to focus on N95 masks and the supply chain need. This meant a lot of hours put in on collaboration and cooperation.
For their employees, CVS developed a system where their employees would be guided to stay safe and healthy. They have created programs to ensure that the health and safety of their employees, as well as stocks of their medical needs like N95 masks and N95 respirators, are properly provided.
CVS also worked with government agencies to provide clear guidelines and boost awareness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked closely with CVS to allow the company to provide the needs of individuals from the ground up.
Another step that the CVS took is to make sure that they will provide information for their staff on the ground. Social and physical distancing protocols were placed and the staff that have to attend to customer needs were provided with the right equipment such as N95 masks as well as N95 respirators.
Insurance is a very important aspect of the business of CVS. A number of coronavirus resources were made available to Aetna members including waived co-pays for all diagnostic testings related to the virus.They also offered free online telemedicine visits to make sure that non-coronavirus cases will still get addressed.
While access to N95 masks are important, individuals are also given access to other medications, prescription medications, and any other needs that they may have through the CVS platform. They are also offering individual insurance holders a chance to stock up and have 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions filled up. Early refill limits were also aimed for reduction to ensure that every individual will not rush on their needs.
Ensuring The Supply Chain
The supply chain is one of the most important aspects of the business of CVS. They made sure that the product supply for N95 masks as well as the N95 respirators, gloves, and all viral protection will be taken care of. Of course, it is hard to handle the supply especially with the current demand.
The Availability Of The Alternative Ways To Treat Patients
The best thing about the current CVS response is that they are also collaborating with the right local health departments. Since these departments know about the current needs of the individuals on the ground, they can provide the right point-of-care test. The visits provided may also include ambulatory care settings.
Minute clinics provide a good experience for the individual who wants to get treated and needs treatment for non-coronavirus cases. When a patient presents any of the symptoms of the virus, the risk of exposure is assessed and further consultation is looked at to determine the right level of care.
Video visits are also important for patients and doctors to still see each other and evaluate the virus as well as the situation of the patient.
Testing, Testing, Testing
One of the best things about CVS is the ability that they showcased in testing individuals. They increased their testing capacity as soon as the problem became imminent. CVS was able to provide the right supply of N95 masks and balanced it off with some of the needs of different individuals. They were also able to show off their testing capacity and provide the United States families with more options when it came down to testing.
CVS Pharmacy and Minute Clinics
The Minute Clinic locations are uniquely positioned to make sure that they will address and protect people’s health closer to their home. The following are the new additions to the reach of the CVS:
CVS have established more than 1,800 test sites in 33 states and the District of Columbia;
- They made sure that the testing will be available at no-cost for people with and without health insurance coverage.
- Testing is available for individuals who qualify under the requirements set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state-specific criteria and age guidelines. It is also not required to have a doctor’s referral.
- Scheduling your test is important so CVS made sure that testing is available for schedule.
- Patients are required to stay in their car and at no time were they allowed to go inside the CVS facility.
Community-based testing for underserved neighborhoods is also considered as one of the ways that CVS is dealing with the virus. The main goal of CVS is to open up testing for those communities that are in need based on the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index. Of course, to prevent further increase in cases, people are not required to line up but since internet connection may be a problem in some of these places, it is important for CVS to adjust. The following adjustments were made by CVS management:
Appointments are to be made by phone.
- Walk up testing can be accommodated. In comparison to the Minute Clinics and all other CVS facilities, the neighborhood clinics opened by CVS are all accessible via walk-up testing.
- The signages are translated in English and Spanish.
- It comes at no cost to the patient.
Long Term Care Based Testing
Long-term care (LTC) facilities testing is also a big step taken by CVS. The impact of the virus is also highly negative on nursing homes and assisted living facilities. As such, CVS deemed it proper to be part of the solution. CVS developed methods that would allow nursing homes to contact and easily get through with CVS representatives and staff to facilitate the testing on such areas.
Large Scale Capable Testing Sites
Large-scale rapid COVID-19 test sites were also created by CVS to aid the United States government in its needs. The first five large scale sites were established in Georgia, Rhode Island, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Each of the sites were located strategically on large public parking lots. The process that takes approximately around 30 minutes to collect the samples can be done with up to a capacity of 500 and 1,000 tests per day.
CVS Is Not Always Reliable
Wondering where an everyday working American might be able to buy N95 masks? CVS is not the best option. If there is one thing that CVS has proven, it is the fact that the United States government and families can rely on them. They have controlled the stocks of N95 masks not to hoard or to drive the price up but to make sure that every person gets his share. They have helped increase the testing capacity of the United States and we know that we can rely on them when we need to.
Given the current situation, however, you will also want to look at Clinical Supplies USA for your N95 masks. The online website will also help you stock up on your N95 masks needs and all other clinical supplies, especially those that cannot be found at CVS.