As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across our nation and with hospitalizations rising, keeping our children safe in an already confusing, challenging time can be anxiety-inducing. Pediatric testing for COVID-19 and research on how the virus affects children has been limited. However, more research is continuously showing that testing must be increased for younger populations in the United States in order to get a handle on this devastating pandemic.
Today, we’ve expanded access to free COVID-19 testing to children ages 4 and older through Verily’s Project Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program, which serves over 450 testing sites across 16 states. Individuals ages 4 and up can now be registered for testing under the supervision of a legal guardian and securely receive their testing results, regardless of whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms.
Individuals ages 4-18 may access testing with parent or legal guardian consent, and attendance and supervision of the minor at the testing appointment with a photo ID. For children ages 4-12, a parent or legal guardian will create a Project Baseline account and follow the steps to indicate who the test is for. For children ages 13-17, creation of a Project Baseline account should happen only under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian.
Test results will typically be shared with the individual within 1-3 days of the appointment. Those with a positive result will receive a phone call to the number associated with their account. All testing results are sent to individuals through the secure Baseline online portal.
At Verily, we have focused on the security and privacy of personal health information since the inception of our Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program, which operates under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and employs the appropriate security controls that map to the HIPAA Security Rule. Information collected by the program is mandated by the state and federal reporting requirements for COVID-19 testing and will ultimately be deleted through the Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program, unless an individual separately authorizes further retention and use of information.
We are proud of the work we have done with our partners to increase access to testing in the U.S. Expanded testing access to individuals ages 4 and up is an important next step in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.