By Alice Park
Given the slow roll out of testing for COVID-19 in the U.S., and concerns about spreading the disease, at-home testing could help to diagnose more cases. After initially limiting testing to one provided by the Centers for Disease Control and conducted at state and local public health labs, the Food and Drug Administration allowed certified labs, including commercial lab testing companies, to develop and distribute COVID-19 tests on Feb. 29. Though other private companies have been involved with creating tests for COVID-19, this is the first company to offer its test directly to consumers.
The Austin-based Everlywell offers a range of validated tests for everything from cholesterol levels to fertility and infectious diseases like STDs.
People can order the Everlywell COVID-19 test on the company’s website, after first answering questions about their basic health, symptoms and risk factors for the coronavirus disease. A doctor still needs to prescribe the test, so telemedicine doctors from PWNHealth, a national network of physicians who prescribe diagnostic tests, then reviews these answers to determine if a person qualifies for testing, based on criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, because COVID-19 tests are not plentiful in the U.S., doctors are trying to rule out other respiratory diseases like flu first, and only ordering tests for people with symptoms who also have other risk factors for infection, such as being in close contact with others who have been diagnosed.
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To see the daily new cases and deaths in the top eleven countries go to
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“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight week period,” Governor Newsom of California wrote on 3/19/2020.