JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)– You hear about nurses and doctors fighting on the front lines every day of COVID-19, and healthcare workers like pharmacists are right there with them.

The Mississippi Pharmacists Association says they are medication experts on the floors of the hospital. They make critical decisions every day and are an important part of the healthcare team.

Pharmacists are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t think people understand that the pharmacists are going into the rooms with these COVID-19 patients along with the doctors and nurses and so they are receiving that same PPE,” said Beau Cox, executive director of the Mississippi Pharmacists Association.

Cox says community pharmacists need more protection.

“I definitely think that implementing curbside services, you know implementing using the drive-thru instead of coming in is a way to protect our community pharmacists, especially as we move into more pharmacies being able to be collection sites and being testing sites,” said Cox.

Cox says pharmacies are gearing up for COVID-19 testing, testing that would give you positive or negative results in 15-45 minutes.

“I would assume within the next month we are hoping to be able to have access to begin the testing process,” said Cox.

National pharmacy stakeholders will talk with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services next week to get an idea of what reimbursement would look like for pharmacists who buy COVID-19 testing machines which cost thousands of dollars.