Over the weekend, Alphabet’s Verily launched a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) screening and testing website in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Users need to have a Google account and agree with potential information sharing to quality for the screening.
The website is a result of a collaboration between the Bay Area biotech company and California’s governor’s office. It also includes other local, state, and federal authorities.
Through a multi-step process, Californians can take on online COVID-19 “screener survey.” This survey will direct patients to testing sites in San Mateo and Santa Clara countries.
Requirements for Novel Coronavirus Website Screening
To be eligible, users should be 18 years old and a US resident. He or she should be able to speak and read English. More importantly, he or she must be willing to sign the COVID-19 Public Health authorization form.
The user also needs to create or use a Google account and sign an authorization waiver. This step comes before they know if they qualify or not.
Verily also informs users during the registration process that it will collect personal information. That includes a name, address, phone number, email, and health information.
Government and health authorities will be using the information for “public health purposes.”
Eligible users will go to “mobile” testing sites “on capacity,” where they will undergo nasal swab test, said the company.
The company didn’t say what qualities it considers to be eligible and didn’t respond right away to questions for clarification.
After the testing, the user will know the results “within a few days.”
Verily Explains Collaboration
In a blog post, the company explained how the tool could help with “screening and testing” people at a high risk of COVID-19.
The pilot program started in the Bay Area since it has the highest volume of known cases. It said it plans to scale the capacity, although it has no timeline.
The website announced the project after an internal memo from CEO Sundar Pichai on Friday after the US President Donald Trump’s announcement of the efforts.
State officials said they hope the website launch will bring the capacity to screen individuals to the market.
California has performed 8,316 tests at 19 labs with the capacity to test another 9,000 people, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.
Coronavirus Already a Pandemic
Lat week, WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. Also, Trump announced a national emergency on Friday.
The pandemic has caused more than 5,000 deaths and 135,000 infections around the world. The data came from Johns Hopkins University.
On the other hand, not everyone with COVID-19 symptoms has access to limited testing kits.
Cases in the United States have jumped over the last two weeks. They rose from about 100 infections on March 1 to almost 3,300 on Sunday.
Regarding the Verily project, it’s in its early stages. Verily said in its blog it would take time to assess operations at pilot sites before rolling out to other locations.
They said they are working closely with Newsom’s office, federal authorities, and local health officials.
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