Walmart has launched an experimental drone delivery program in El Paso that will fly COVID-19 tests to homes within 1.5 miles of the Supercenter at 1850 N. Zaragoza.

The retail giant has partnered with Quest Diagnostics and drone services provider DroneUp to offer the service, which it says will help the company determine the role unmanned aerial drones can play in the pandemic response, health care delivery and retail.

Mayor Dee Margo, along with Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp representatives, launched the service Tuesday with a news conference and drone demonstration.

“Walmart has been serving the El Paso community throughout the pandemic with drive-thru testing sites and extended testing hours, and we wanted to provide another way to access testing that provides convenience and leverages technology while learning how drones could impact the delivery of health care in the future,” Amanda Jenkins, vice president of operation support and implementation at Walmart, said in a statement.

Walmart has also launched the pilot program in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Cheektowaga, New York.

Drone delivery will be available 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday and can be requested at Customers receive test kits for self-administering a nasal swab and pre-paid shipping envelopes to return the samples to Quest Diagnostics for testing.

To be eligible for drone delivery, customers must live in a single-family home within a 1.5-mile radius of the store at 1850 N. Zaragoza.


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