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Technology San Francisco and Alameda drop Verily's COVID-19 testing service

08:15  27 october  2020
08:15  27 october  2020 Source:   engadget.com

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In San Francisco , the Gmail requirement made it difficult for health care workers to use Verily to test residents who are homeless. People experiencing homelessness are at high risk for contracting and having severe outcomes from COVID - 19 , as are Black and Latino people. Testing for those groups is

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California is testing more people for the coronavirus than ever before. So why is it seemingly harder to get tested now than it was a A standard COVID - 19 test , also called a PCR test, checks if you're currently infected with the coronavirus. Antibody tests, also called serology

California’s San Francisco and Alameda (home to Oakland) counties are no longer using Verily’s COVID-19 testing system, according to Kaiser Health News. Verily, an Alphabet-owned health-focused company, signed contracts collectively worth $55 million with 28 California counties earlier this year to make coronavirus testing more accessible in the state. Shortly after opening testing sites in March, though, members of Alameda’s COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force raised concerns about Verily’s protocols. In particular, they pointed out how requiring people to sign up for testing with a Gmail account keeps it out of reach for low-income residents who need it the most.

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COVID - 19 : Expanded testing locations. Last Updated: October 22, 2:55pm Eastern. If you are looking for other COVID - 19 testing options, including solutions for returning to workplaces and 5601 Van Nuys Boulevard Sherman Oaks CA - 91401. 101 East Alameda Avenue Burbank CA - 91502.

To date, Verily has launched eight testing locations statewide, and a total of 80 OptumServe sites will be launched by next week in 36 counties. The California COVID - 19 Testing Task Force worked with county leaders statewide to identify appropriate testing sites with a focus on underserved

SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Medical personnel surround a car that is going through a coronavirus drive-thru test clinic at the San Mateo County Event Center on March 16, 2020 in San Mateo, California. Drive-thru test clinics for COVID-19 are popping up across the country as more tests become available. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) © Provided by Engadget SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Medical personnel surround a car that is going through a coronavirus drive-thru test clinic at the San Mateo County Event Center on March 16, 2020 in San Mateo, California. Drive-thru test clinics for COVID-19 are popping up across the country as more tests become available. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

While Verily doesn’t do testing itself — it has contracts with other companies who supply the testing kits and do the lab work — it provides a digital platform where people can sign up for testing. It also runs testing sites where people can drive-thru for a nasal swab. Signing up for testing through Verily requires a Gmail account, though, and that has proven to be an issue, especially with the homeless who don’t always have access to a phone or an internet connection.

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When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here. Life after COVID - 19 : Here' s what restaurants, gyms Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID - 19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area /. List: Where can I get tested for COVID - 19 in

San Francisco isn't seeing anywhere near as many COVID - 19 cases as New York, although the situation could still change. For now, UCSF clinicians are managing a steady trickle of patients entering the emergency rooms with COVID - 19 symptoms, while still bracing for a possible flood.

The task force also raised concerns about the fact that people have to provide sensitive personal information, including their addresses and whether they have chronic health conditions, when they sign up. Verily uses language in its privacy policy that says it can share people’s information with third parties involved in the testing program.

Dr. Noha Aboelata, CEO of Roots Community Health Center in Oakland who worked with Verily to establish a walk-up site at her clinic, echoed the task force’s concerns. She found that the people who registered through Verily for testing tended to be white — her clinic mostly serves African Americans and other PoCs — and to come from wealthier ZIP codes outside of East Oakland. The doctor severed her ties with Verily after only six days.

Dr. Jonathan Fuchs, who leads San Francisco County’s testing strategy, confirmed to Kaiser that the partnership with Verily is “currently on hold.” Verily spokesperson Kathleen Parkes told the publication, though, that conversations with San Francisco and Alameda remain “active.” In addition, she explained that the testing program requires a Gmail account so that it can use Google’s authentication procedures to protect people’s sensitive data.

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