Last Sunday, Alphabet’s life sciences division launched a Baseline COVID-19 Pilot Program in California. It’s expanded to more sites since then, and Verily today released a video explaining what drive-thru COVID-19 testing participants can expect.
Especially in the US, testing — along with staying at home — is needed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The first step in Verily’s community-based COVID-19 testing program is an online screener that assesses whether you qualify for testing.
At the moment, the website is prioritizing testing based on factors like “exposure to cases of coronavirus, at risk locations or occupations, symptoms, previous, health conditions, or age.” This is set by the California Department of Public Health and conditions will change over time.
If “qualified for testing,” you’ll be given an appointment and confirmation email with reference ID. Participants are advised to arrive 15 minutes early to account for the drive-thru nature.
Once you arrive, there are three stations:
- Appointment check: You’ll be instructed to show your documents, keeping your windows closed. This ensures that this step is done as safely as possible.
- Reference ID matching: Health care staff will match your reference ID with a lab kit and attach the information to your windshield.
- Sample collection: You’ll be asked to roll down your window and tilt your head back for a nasal swab.
Results are expected in 2-4 days, though there could be a backlog given the strain on testing facilities. Those that test positive will “get a phone call by a qualified health care professional.” Otherwise, you’ll receive an email.
Verily’s COVID-19 drive-thru testing program is currently available in four California counties, with the company creating guidelines on how to best scale across the state and country.
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