CVS and the United Parcel Service will start using drones next month to deliver prescription medications to residents in a Florida retirement community in an effort to maintain social distancing measures, UPS announced Monday.
Starting early May, the 135,000 residents in The Villages can receive their medications via Matternet's M2 drone system, in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration. The drones will drop off prescriptions to a location near the community and a truck finish the delivery, UPS said. The company said it may expand its service to include deliveries from two more local CVS pharmacies.
"Our new drone delivery service will help CVS provide safe and efficient deliveries of medicines to this large retirement community, enabling residents to receive medications without leaving their homes," Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer, said in a press release. "UPS is committed to playing its part in fighting COVID-19, and this is another way we can support our healthcare customers and individuals with innovative solutions."
The new measure is aimed to help support a vulnerable community amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The state issued a stay-at-home order earlier this month. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that senior citizens should take special care to stay at home. There are at least 31,520 coronavirus cases in Florida as of Monday, and at least 1,073 deaths.
CVS and UPS partnered last year to explore drone delivery. UPS Flight Forward and its partner Matternet were the first drone delivery services to receive full certification from the FAA to operate a drone airline.