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01/19/2022

Walgreens intros COVID-19 Index tracking activity by state

Data captured in the Walgreens COVID-19 Index tracks existing and emerging variants.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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walgreens covid-19 index
Credit: Walgreens

The Walgreens COVID-19 Index, a new interactive tracking tool from Walgreens, powered by testing data from Aegis Sciences, is among the first to uniquely identify the spread of current and emerging variants in near real-time.

New data from the Walgreens COVID-19 Index shows more than 95% of all positive COVID-19 cases are presumed to be the Omicron variant. The data reinforces the importance of vaccinations and testing in helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Data captured in the Walgreens COVID-19 Index can track the spread of the Omicron variant within 24 to 48 hours, more quickly than other methods, the company noted. In addition to a national view, data can be reviewed by state. The Walgreens COVID-19 Index is based on proprietary data from PCR testing services administered by Walgreens and performed by its testing partner Aegis Sciences.

[Read more: Walgreens, Faith for Black Lives kick off effort to vaccinate young adults]

“Through Walgreens partnership with Aegis Sciences, we have the ability to provide this interactive tracking tool and inform the development of strategies and resources to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Kevin Ban, chief medical officer for Walgreens. “This provides a leading consumer-centric healthcare solution to support our communities and partners, building on our nationwide footprint and health offerings.”

Based on data analyzed as of Jan. 18, the following types of insights are available from the Walgreens COVID-19 Index:

  • Nationally, more than 95% of all positive cases are presumed to be the Omicron variant.
  • Top states for COVID-19 positive rates are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Dakota, Nevada and Texas, which all have COVID-19 positivity rates over 45% of those tested.
  • Top states for confirmed Delta case prevalence are Maine (43.5%), Kansas (36.5%), Iowa (29.2%), New Mexico (25.2%), Oklahoma (24.2%), Indiana (23.6%) and Utah (23.5%).

“Data regarding spread of variants is important to our understanding of viral transmission and, as new variants emerge, it will be critical to continue to track this information quickly to predict which communities are most at risk,” said Matthew Hardison, senior vice president of lab operations at Aegis Sciences. “We are pleased to partner with Walgreens to provide testing, collaborate on data analysis and provide timely insights that can help health departments curtail the COVID-19 pandemic.”

[Read more: Walgreens once again tracking flu activity]

Walgreens said that it remains critically important to get vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19, and is safe and convenient to get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster at one of its nearly 9,000 locations. 

Data will be updated frequently and provide a rolling snapshot of the previous 7 days’ data based on analysis of positive tests at more than 5,000 Walgreens testing locations. The index can be viewed here.

The Walgreens COVID-19 Index is the product of an innovative pharmacy-laboratory collaboration focused on helping communities, health professionals and the media stay informed about COVID-19 surveillance. The Walgreens COVID-19 Index is generated through the combination of Walgreens nationally representative PCR testing services with the associated PCR and Next-Generation Sequencing laboratory test results generated by Aegis Sciences. The exhibits within the Index provide an overview of confirmed cases by state, presumed Omicron cases in near real-time, variant proportions over time and positivity rates by vaccination status. Walgreens and Aegis Sciences have collaborated to offer COVID-19 PCR testing at more than 5,000 Walgreens locations.

[Read More: Walgreens Boots Alliance reportedly begins strategic review of U.K.-based Boots]

While generated from a large, nationally representative dataset, the data presented in the Walgreens COVID-19 Index is only reflective of real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) and NGS results from samples collected at specific

Walgreens locations and tests by Aegis Sciences do not incorporate information from other testing modalities performed at or through the retailer. Data regarding vaccination status is derived from information supplied in the test registration process by individuals that tested at Walgreens locations. The amount of data available varies by geographic location. All data presented in the Walgreens COVID-19 Index is aggregated and de-identified to protect individuals’ privacy, the companies said. 

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