(CNN) — Kroger, the country’s largest supermarket chain, announced on Sunday it would begin providing free COVID-19 testing for frontline associates. Testing will be available based on symptoms and medical need.
“The widespread availability of diagnostic testing will now allow our associates to feel more empowered and knowledgeable about their health, creating safer stores and facilities,” said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health.
The tests will be a combination of self-administered kits and the company’s public drive-through testing sites.
A UFCW union in Los Angeles hailed the decision as a win following weeks of protests at two Kroger subsidiaries, Ralphs and Food 4 Less, in the area.
“That UFCW members successfully compelled Kroger to provide testing is a significant victory for the public’s health,”said John Grant, president of UFCW Local 770. “Grocery corporations like Kroger have been doubling and tripling their profits while other businesses are shuttering, yet they have been slow to implement safety measures and share profits with essential workers on the frontline.”
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, grocery workers have called for emergency measures inside the stores and wide access to testing to slow the spread of the virus and keep workers and community members safe.