KFOX14 reports that the pilot program to deliver testing kits to homes in El Paso started Tuesday. The drone deliveries are made to single-family homes within a 1.5-mile radius of a Walmart Supercenter in East El Paso.
Drone services company DroneUp is also working with Walmart and Quest Diagnostics on the project.
“The drone delivery service of at-home collection kits will aid our citizens in combating COVID-19 from the safety and comfort of their homes,” said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, in a press conference Tuesday. “There’s still a ways to go to fight against COVID-19 but through supportive partners like Walmart, Quest Diagnostics, and DroneUp, along with the hardworking staff, pharmacists, and associates.”
The drones lower the test kits to front yards or driveways via a tether, the El Paso Times reports. Once completed at home, people send the test kits back for analysis.
The project is the third drone delivery pilot site set up by Walmart, Quest Diagnostics and DroneUp.
In September the companies set up a pilot program in North Las Vegas and another was established in Cheektowaga, N.Y., in October.
Texas’ COVID-19 death toll is second only to New York among U.S. states. As of Thursday morning, COVID-19 has accounted for 20,338 deaths in Texas, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Some 889,099 people have recovered from the disease in Texas.
Globally, more than 56 million people have contracted COVID-19 during the pandemic and the disease has caused over 1.3 million deaths. In the U.S., just over 11.5 million people have contracted the disease, which has accounted for just over 250,000 deaths.