Google developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid-19 testing
In a statement posted to a Twitter account for Google’s communications team more than an hour after Trump’s speech, the company said, “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.” That appeared to be a far cry from what Trump described.
Statement from Verily: “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.
— Google Communications (@Google_Comms) March 13, 2020
Carolyn Wang, communications lead for Verily, told The Verge it had been developing a “triage website” for health care workers, not the general public, but will now switch gears in light of the announcement.
Wang added that Verily was “collaborating closely with organizations like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp who are also working on additional approaches to making testing more accessible and expedient in other areas.”
Verily did not respond to questions on how data submitted by website visitors would be protected and used.
The Vice President of the United States Mike Pence suggests that Google’s nationwide website would soon help make “hundreds of thousands of tests” possible “in the very near future.
“For Americans looking on,” said Pence, “by this Sunday evening, we’ll be able to give specific guidance on when the website will be available, you can go to the website, as the president said, you type in your symptoms and be given direction whether or not a test is indicated.”
“And then at the same website,” he continued, “you’ll be directed to one of these incredible companies that are going to give a little bit of their parking lot so that people can come by and do a drive-by test.