UPS to Help Set Up New Coronavirus Drive-Through Testing Program After Request From White House

United Parcel Service (UPS) has announced it will be providing support for setting up planned drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing sites around the country as the pandemic continues to escalate.

The Trump administration announced plans over the weekend to open up multiple new testing sites, including drive-through testing sites with the capacity to serve between 2,000 to 4,000 people per day each. The first sites are expected to be deployed by Tuesday, and UPS said on Monday that the White House contacted them for help.

"UPS is proud to provide logistics and transportation support to assist with the Administration's special Coronavirus multi-city testing program. We stand ready to assist to help keep our communities safe," UPS CEO David Abney said in a statement. "We are mobilizing our air and ground network planning and operations teams and we are prepared to fully support this urgent testing program."

UPS declined to provide any additional comment to Newsweek.

The sites are expected to initially open in states hit hardest by the virus. New York, Washington and California were the states with the most cases as of Monday. Testing priority will be given to healthcare workers, older individuals and people suffering from fevers and other symptoms of COVID-19.

The administration has been heavily criticized for the slow rollout of testing across the country, which has lagged behind many other nations. Health experts have continued to complain that testing capacity is inadequate, leaving many patients with symptoms unable to get tested.

UPS van
UPS are set to assist the Trump administration in delivering multiple drive-through COVID-19 testing sites, which are each expected to be capable of testing 2,000-4,000 people per day. Robert Alexander/Getty

Drive-through testing sites already exist or are set to open across the country. Private sites are already active in more than ten states including Colorado, Florida and Texas. The government's new sites are a separate effort.

Newsweek reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication. The White House had no comment.

UPS provided air cargo shipments of masks and other medical supplies when the outbreak first began to escalate in Wuhan, China in January. The virus was first detected in the city in late December.

The shipping company also announced it is altering its delivery practices in light of the pandemic, allowing for delivery drivers to release packages without signatures or collect signatures that have been signed on the slips left on doors to maintain safe distances.

"We are committed to rapidly adjusting our processes to ensure our employees, customers and communities can maintain normal daily life to the greatest extent possible while we adjust to the new realities of this pandemic," Abney said.

Coronavirus COVID-19 United States Statista
Spread of COVID-19 virus across the U.S. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.