A new website to help people get screened for the coronavirus will be built by a sister company of Google.
President Donald Trump announced details at a Friday news conference, but the website does not have a launch date.
With most local doctors not being equipped to test their patients for the coronavirus, and with telemedicine providers like Doctor on Demand and AmWell being about the only paid alternatives, Trump said the Google site would help prescreen people and direct them to testing sites.
Trump mentioned in the conference that Google has 1,700 engineers working on the new website, where users will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about their symptoms. If they pass the criteria, they get directed to new drive-through testing sites the government is planning to roll out.
However, it could take some time for consumers to be able to use the site.
It's being built by Verily, an Alphabet subsidiary. Verily says it is developing a tool to help triage individuals for COVID-19 testing. "We are in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time," the company said in a statement.
"We appreciate the support of government officials and industry partners and thank the Google engineers who have volunteered to be part of this effort."
Verily describes itself as a company focused on life sciences and healthcare. "Verily’s mission is to make the world’s health data useful so that people enjoy healthier lives. Verily develops tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, and creates interventions to prevent and manage disease."
After a widely panned national address that saw Wall Street respond with the worst drop in years, on Friday Trump responded to the coronavirus outbreak, which has engulfed the world, by declaring a state of national emergency.
The coronavirus has infected over 100,000 people worldwide and killed nearly 5,000. In response, in just a few days, many institutions have shut down temporarily, awaiting a return to normalcy.
This week alone, the National Basketball Association shut down games, Disneyland made plans to close and Broadway went dark.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump on coronavirus: Google working on site for COVID-19 screening