Following the Friday announcement of a COVID-19 website from “Google” by US officials, there was immediate confusion about the scope and scale. Alphabet company Verily today detailed its upcoming coronavirus testing website.
In collaboration with the California Governor’s office, federal, state and local public health authorities, Verily is helping to establish testing sites in the Bay Area and an online tool to increase risk screening and testing for people at high risk of COVID-19.
Starting Monday, Californians in the Bay Area will be able to take an online COVID-19 screener survey. People who “meet eligibility and requirements for testing will be directed to mobile testing sites based on capacity” and take a nasal swab test.
At the moment, it’s unclear how the results of this coronavirus testing will be returned. It could be done directly on the Verily site or separately by the testing provider. This “COVID-19 testing pilot program” will start in San Francisco given the “significant volume of known cases.”
The Alphabet company plans to expand as “more testing kits and sites become available,” though only California is currently referenced due to the state partnership.
Ultimately, our goal is to help local authorities expand testing access in California as the need continues to increase. The program is in its early stages, and we will take the time to assess operations at pilot sites in the Bay Area before rolling out to additional sites. We are working closely with Governor Newsom’s office, federal authorities and local public health authorities to ensure we have the right capabilities in place to help more people over the coming weeks.
Behind-the-scenes, Verily is leveraging its existing Project Baseline platform used to run medical studies.
The Baseline Platform securely collects and stores health information and is compliant with federal and state regulations governing the collection and use of an individual’s data. Data is stored in advanced systems with security and privacy protocols.
What Verily announced today is somewhat more in line with the website mentioned by President Donald Trump. However, it is not nationwide and in very early development.
Google proper is developing an informational website that will be available across the country starting tomorrow.
We’re partnering with the U.S. government in developing a website dedicated to COVID-19 education, prevention, and local resources nationwide. This includes best practices on prevention, links to authoritative information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and helpful tips and tools from Google for individuals, teachers and businesses.
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