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Google's Coronavirus Test Website Is Live... Sort Of

By Donna Fuscaldo - Mar 16, 2020 at 11:05AM

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The catch: it's only for California's Bay Area residents and you have to be at least 18 to qualify.

Alphabet's (GOOG 5.20%) (GOOGL 5.11%) Google launched its coronavirus testing website Sunday, but instead of being available to the masses, it's only serving residents in the Bay Area of California. 

Ever since President Trump announced late last week Google was creating a website to direct people to coronavirus testing sites, confusion has abounded. President Trump said the website was being developed rapidly, with Google assigning 1,700 engineers to the effort. Google, however, initially denied it was working on a testing website with the Federal government. It then announced its unit Verily has developed one under the website Project Baseline, but not for a national audience.  

Coronavirus sign on a map.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

In a blog post Monday, Verily said in collaboration with the governor of California and federal, state and local public health authorities, it is launching a pilot to expand the access of COVID-19 screening and testing for individuals in the Bay Area. The online tool will assess individuals' symptoms and those who are eligible for a test will be directed to a location based on capacity. Individuals will be informed of the test results a few days later. Verily said the testing service is for high-risk individuals only. 

"To protect the most vulnerable, the COVID-19 testing pilot program will begin by testing the highest risk individuals at select sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, where there is a significant volume of known cases. As more testing kits and sites become available, we plan to scale the capacity," Verily wrote in the blog.

The Google unit stressed the Website is in the testing stage and that it will assess the effectiveness before rolling out to additional areas. Project Baseline was launched in 2017, aiming to map human health. It's used by people looking for clinical trials.

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