When we launched the Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program in March of this year, the path ahead had many uncertainties. While it was impossible to predict what would come in the months ahead, we were determined to contribute in any way we could to the collective efforts of our industry and public health authorities to manage the spread of the pandemic. Starting with a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area, we launched community-based testing sites throughout California under the direction of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and soon after, we launched nationwide with Rite Aid. Today, we are happy to announce that the Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program has supported the administration of over one million tests, furthering our program’s mission to increase access to testing in communities across the country.
Access to COVID-19 testing is a critical component of deploying smart test strategies to inform public health decisions. The Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program supports community-based testing, which enables public health authorities to direct their communities to easy-access testing resources. This approach makes testing available to broad populations, reduces the burden on healthcare systems, and increases testing availability for those with or without regular access to healthcare. Individuals who use the program, which is available in English and Spanish, do not incur testing costs and testing is available to those without health insurance.
Our commitment to accessibility has led to the development of important features to the program in the months since we launched. In March, we published the community-based testing toolkit, publicly available on our website for any group interested in standing up a testing site to read and adapt to their community testing needs. In May, in collaboration with CDPH, we initiated a “mobile testing” program which was designed specifically to serve rural and under-resourced communities and is being used at multiple locations across the state. Testing operations through this program can be deployed rapidly and responsively to remote or underserved areas and can be conducted in short periods of time, if needed. And also in May, we launched "Assisted Accounts" for individuals who have little or no access to the internet at a limited number of CDPH testing sites that support testing for underserved populations. This was first deployed at the San Francisco Tenderloin mobile testing site where more than 1600 people were tested in 9 days—and has since gone live in over 20 California counties, with thousands more accessing testing through this option.
"Throughout the last few months the need for capacity increased across the country. In order to meet the increasing demands, we introduced additional partners to our program including LabCorp and Eurofins for sample processing," said Ashraf Hanna, COO of Verily and who has been overseeing Covid-19 testing operations.
"I would like to acknowledge all our partners, including the State of California, Rite Aid, Quest, LabCorp, Eurofins, Cognizant, PWN Health, Team Rubicon, Advanced Clinical and many others, all of whom moved at record speeds to offer testing broadly and support participants effectively. Our part is done in concert with all of them, and we are grateful to be contributing in a meaningful way to the management of this pandemic."
Across all our testing sites, we are seeing an average of a 48 hour turnaround time to obtain results. The Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program now supports over 350 total testing sites nationwide, in urban and rural settings, for pedestrians and as drive-throughs. At Verily, our mission is to help people live healthier lives, and through the Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program, we are proud to be doing our part to increase access to testing and support better health for all.