The President of the United States announced during a press conference Friday that the White House is partnering with Google to build a website to help people find a coronavirus testing site. The site will give users a symptoms testing quiz and then if the site determines you should be tested, it will direct you to drive through COVID-19 testing clinics. Details have since emerged that this will be a pilot program only and is by an Alphabet life sciences company, Verily.
Being worked on now. President Donald Trump said that there are over 1,000 Google engineers working on this site. The goal seems to be to get this website up and running by Sunday night.
How the site will work. The White House showed this simple flow chart of the screening web site. It offers a login and symptom screening tool. If the user’s symptoms warrant visiting a drive-through testing center, the site will show them where and when to go there.
The testing facilities will be with Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target and others.
It appears from the site flow that the test results will be posted to users’ accounts on the site. It’s not clear how much data users will need to enter, how it will be stored and which organizations will have access to the sensitive health data.
Less than initially portrayed. About an hour after the press conference, Google posted a statement from its Alphabet sister company Verily on Twitter: “We are developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid-19 testing. Verily is in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time.”
This is significantly less ambitious than what was conveyed during the press conference. Google’s involvement appears to be limited to lending engineering help to Verily.
This article is being updated with Google’s statement and additional details.
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