Being a parent in 2020 has been exhausting. Between closed schools, cancelled events and lapses in childcare, parents also spend their mornings and nights worrying about how they can keep their child safe from the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the globe. While testing has grown to be widely available for many, this crucial pediatric population is being missed and recent COVID-19 hospitalization surveillance data shows that the rate of hospitalization among youth is increasing.
Today, we’re making COVID-19 testing available to teens ages 13-17, across the Baseline COVID-19 Testing Program, which currently operates at over 300 testing sites across 15 states. Teens aged 13 and up, both asymptomatic and symptomatic, will now be able to register for testing under the supervision of a legal guardian and securely receive their testing results.
To register, individuals aged 13-17 will need to create their own Baseline COVID-19 testing account under the supervision of their parent or legal guardian. Registrants will be prompted to share authorization from their parent or legal guardian prior to completing the online screening survey to determine their eligibility for receiving a test.
Once the screening survey is complete, individuals will be able to schedule an appointment at a nearby testing location. Minors must be accompanied to the appointment by a parent or legal guardian who will be required to show a photo ID to confirm their identity.
Test results will typically be shared with the individual within 2-5 days of the appointment. Those with a positive result will receive a phone call to the number associated with their account, otherwise all negative results will be sent to the individual through their 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 13 and up is an important next step in the fight against COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why expand testing to teens now?
A: Due to limited testing supplies, testing initially focused on adults with underlying conditions as data showed they were at higher risks of developing complications from COVID-19. Youth infected with COVID-19 are less likely to develop severe illness compared with adults, but youth are still at risk of developing severe illness and complications from COVID-19. Recent COVID-19 hospitalization surveillance data shows that the rate of hospitalization among youth is increasing.
Q: How do you protect the privacy of teens?
Q: Will teens receive any communications from Verily?
A: Minors will receive communications related to the scheduling and administration of their test. Verily will not send communications unrelated to the COVID-19 testing program to minors.
Q: Will adults need to accompany teens to be tested?
A: Yes. This program is intended to support pediatric testing under the consent and supervision of a legal adult guardian. Teens (ages 13-17) must have an adult legal guardian accompany them to the appointment, and supervise them and assist them as needed during the testing procedure. Parent or legal guardians are required to show photo ID at the testing site.
Q: Do teens require their own Google Account in order to be tested?
A: Yes. We are directing parents and legal guardians to help establish these accounts for their teens to support COVID-19 testing. The parent or legal guardian of the teen being tested will need to electronically sign a consent form.
Q: Where will the test results be delivered?
A: Individuals with a positive result will receive a phone call to the number associated with their account. All negative results will be sent to the participant through the Baseline online portal and to the email address used to establish the testing account.