Trump-Touted Coronavirus Testing Website Launches, But Still Not Available Nationwide

Google on Monday is expected to launch a “nationwide website that includes information about COVID-19 symptoms, risk and testing information”

Alphabet’s Verily on Sunday night launched its new screening and testing website for the novel coronavirus, but the tool is limited to covering much of the San Francisco Bay Area; the launch comes after President Trump on Friday said Google, its sister company, was working on a nationwide site to help Americans find testing locations for COVID-19.

Google is preparing to launch its site on Monday. The tech giant, in a series of tweets on Saturday, said it was “partnering with the U.S. Government in developing a nationwide website that includes information about COVID-19 symptoms, risk and testing information.” The site will also include tips and links to information from the World Health Organization and Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The two launches have come with a fair share of confusion; President Trump said Google was working towards a site that would provide testing information on a national scale on Friday, adding that Google had 1,700 engineers on the project. The president, according to The New York Times, heard from Jared Kushner that Verily CEO’s was helping create a coronavirus testing site — leading to Trump “overselling” Google’s site during a Friday press conference.

Verily’s new site, called Project Baseline, offers a multi-step “screener survey” that points users to testing sites in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Users must be 18 years old, a U.S. resident, and sign a coronavirus public health “authorization form” to use the site. Users must also have a Google account to sign the form and find out if they need testing; Verily said it will collect names, emails, phone numbers and health details that can be used by a number of health and government officials.

When necessary, Verily will refer users to mobile testing sites to take a swab test; they’ll be able to find out their results “within a few days,” according to the site.

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