Pharmacy Safety Measures During COVID-19

Health Conditions

Pharmacy Safety Measures During COVID-19

COVID-19.Healthy Living
RxSaver Editors
By RxSaver Editors
Apr 20, 2020
An illustration of a pharmacy delivery truck parked in front of a pharmacy

This article was updated on May 27, 2020

Pharmacies and the heroes who work there are doing everything they can to keep us healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis. To support patient and staff safety, the Centers for Disease Control has recently updated its recommendations for pharmacies during this time. Here’s an overview of what’s changing, and what you can expect next time you fill a prescription.

Enhanced Pharmacy Cleaning Protocols for COVID-19

It may be daunting to enter any building that isn’t your home right now. However, pharmacies are enacting additional sanitation practices to help keep customers as safe as possible. Next time you visit the pharmacy, you’ll probably notice frequent cleaning of hard, non-porous surfaces with disinfectants approved for use against SARS-COV-2. Specific areas of cleaning focus include frequently touched surfaces such as counters, check out areas, keyboards, telephones, and doorknobs. CVS and other retailers have also added disinfectant wipe stations to store entryways to make sure you can clean your cart or basket prior to shopping.

Social Distancing Support at Pharmacies for COVID-19

You should do your part to support social distancing by following CDC guidelines such as hand washing, and wearing a cloth face covering when you’re out and about. Pharmacies are doing their part through physical cues, such as floor markers and plexiglass panels, to designate the correct amount of social distance between patrons and pharmacy staff. Look for floor decals or hanging signage that designates an appropriate physical distance between customers in line. Many pharmacies are also implementing protective panels between pharmacy staff and patients during payment and consults.

Besides changes at the register area, the pharmacy waiting room may look different to support social distancing. Chairs, magazines or other shared items have likely been removed, as have most blood pressure monitoring machines.

Finally, big box stores, grocers and some corner drug stores are taking measures to limit the number of customers in the building at one time. Costco, for instance, will not permit more than 2 people to enter the warehouse with each membership card.

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How Pharmacies are Serving Senior Citizens

Pharmacies are also paying extra attention to senior citizens, who are at a higher risk for coronavirus (COVID-19). Certain pharmacies are opening and closing at special times, permitting only senior citizens to come into the pharmacy. Walgreens, for example, will open early at 8 am every Tuesday until further notice for senior citizens as well as caregivers and immediate family members to shop and get their prescription drugs.

Rite Aid is giving senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems exclusive shopping time one hour each weekday from 9am-10am. Texas retailer H-E-B has also altered their hours of pharmacy and delivery for senior citizens. H-E-B has a Senior Support Line and updated their Favor Senior Support Line hours from 11am to 3pm.

Call your local pharmacy or check their website to verify specific store hours.

Pharmacy Drive-Thru and Curbside Services

If you don’t feel comfortable entering the physical pharmacy, many stores have drive-thrus you can utilize. Check the CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid store locator websites for specific locations. Don’t forget to minimize the sharing of physical materials by calling ahead to give the pharmacist your RxSaver coupon over the phone and payment information before you arrive at the store.

In a pinch, many pharmacies that do not have a drive-thru will work with you to arrange for curbside pick-up, particularly if you have respiratory symptoms or are at high risk. Call ahead to make arrangements with your pharmacy staff.

Update May 27: Rite Aid is offering free drive-thru testing at specific locations. Check to see if your location is included.

Pharmacies Offering Free Home Delivery

If you are quarantined or cannot risk going into the pharmacy, many pharmacies are offering delivery services for prescription drugs– some are even free! To learn more about all things delivery, check out our guide to pharmacy delivery options during COVID-19.

Changes to Pharmacy Clinics and Ancillary Services

The CDC recently recommended that pharmacies postpone non-critical services that require face-to-face contact, such as immunizations. They also released three recommendations specific to health care clinics located in pharmacy buildings:

  • Clinics should provide separate entrances for patients if possible, or use physical barriers to separate symptomatic people from other customers.
  • Patients with respiratory symptoms should be triaged via phone and treated via telemedicine if possible.
  • Facemasks or cloth face coverings should be provided to all patients who do not have their own, and applied outside the building if possible.

MinuteClinic at CVS is no longer taking walk-ins to ensure the safety of its employees and customers. They are asking patients to Please make a an appointment ahead of time either online or using their CVS pharmacy app. RxSaver offers a free coupon for 10% off your next MinuteClinic visit, with savings up to $100.

Update May 27: Minute Clinic has updated their policies to eliminate non-essential health care services that are face to face in their clinics. These services include camp and sports physicals, travel health like typhoid vaccines, weight loss, and acne. Other essential services will continue as usual.

RxSaver Can Help You Save on Prescription Costs

That’s right! You can still use RxSaver any way you want to get your prescription medications.

First, you can easily pull up your code on RxSaver’s app or website and show or read aloud to your pharmacist. You can also print your code at home and show your pharmacist in the drive-thru or in person. You can also call ahead before picking up your prescription to give the pharmacist your coupon code. Here is more information about how to use RxSaver Prescription Coupons during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Just like your pharmacies, RxSaver is here to help you during this challenging time.

RxSaver Editors

RxSaver Editors

RxSaver Editors are wellness enthusiasts who help you learn how you can save the most on prescription medication costs and other health-related topics.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

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Savings calculated based on the pharmacy’s cash price. On average, fourteen percent of RxSaver prescription purchases receive savings of 85% or more.

The discount coupons offered by RxSaver are intended for out-of-pocket paying consumers and may not be used with commercial health plans or any federal or state funded health care program, such as Medicare or Medicaid. Certain states have imposed restrictions on the use of prescription drug coupons and, therefore, the RxSaver coupons are void where prohibited by law. The discount coupons available through RxSaver are not a form of insurance coverage.

Prescription drug pricing fluctuates frequently. Therefore, RxSaver pricing is subject to change without notice. Nothing contained in this website, or any other RxSaver property constitutes medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for information about a specific prescription drug product.