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Reports: CVS Health To Return $43 Mln In Coronavirus Relief Funds

CVS Health Corp. said it will return the $43.3 million it received from the federal government as coronavirus relief under the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, according to reports.

The company reportedly made the announcement in a letter sent by its chief executive Larry Merlo to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday.

Merlo reportedly said in the letter that CVS Health did not solicit these funds, but received them as part of an automatic distribution by the Department of Health and Human Services. The company has decided to return the funds and forgo participation in subsequent distributions.

Merlo noted that the funds will allow HHS to provide additional support to other providers facing significant financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

CVS Health said last Friday that it is opening more that 50 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across five states - Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. These sites will use self-swab tests and mark the next phase of the company's COVID-19 testing strategy.

The healthcare provider plans to scale this up to 1,000 new COVID-19 drive-thru test sites by end of May, processing up to 1.5 million tests per month based on the lab capacity and the availability of supplies.

Since early April, CVS Health has been successfully operating large-scale COVID-19 drive-thru rapid test sites in coordination with five states, which can process a total of nearly 30,000 tests per week. These sites in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan and Rhode Island are using the new Abbott ID NOW point-of-care COVID-19 tests.

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