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SF & Oakland to End Verily COVID-19 Testing Sites

Verily’s testing platform was to help expand testing in CA, instead it hindered its most vulnerable communities
By - posted 10/28/2020 No Comment

Two of the most populous counties in California, San Francisco and Alameda counties, will be ending their partnership with Verily, Google’s health-focused sister company, who promised to vastly expand Covid-19 testing across the state. Verily’s platform screens symptoms, books appointments and reports test results. California spent $55 million in contracts with Verily for its testing program.

Verily’s testing program was touted by Governor Gavin Newsom as an effort to help bridge the inequalities in testing, especially in underserved communities. Newsom said, Verily’s new testing site would “make sure we’re truly testing California broadly defined, not just parts of California and those that somehow have the privilege of getting ahead of the line.” Unfortunately, Verily’s testing requirements instead hindered these communities.

First, registration has to be done online, and users had to use a gmail account. Second, the process was only offered in English and Spanish. Plus, registration required personal information such as a home address and existing medical conditions, which could be subject to third-party use.

Read more at Kaiser Health News.