Coronavirus screening website promised by Trump takes step toward expanding beyond 4 counties
By Graham Kates
/ CBS News
More than two weeks after the White House's coronavirus task force promised a national screening website made by Google would facilitate testing for Americans, it remains focused on just four California counties.
But on Monday the website, called Project Baseline, took a step toward expansion. Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Google's parent company Alphabet, Inc., runs the site and released a guide "designed to help government officials, public health departments, and local communities establish drive-through testing sites."
The company says that by following its instructions, local governments can establish "within a one-week timeframe" online screening through Project Baseline, as well as drive-through testing sites that work with labs to process tests.
Visitors to the Project Baseline website in its current form are greeted with a survey to determine eligibility. Factors include: residing within 50 miles of the four counties covered; having a mild cough, shortness of breath and a fever. Those who are eligible then receive a lengthier questionnaire to assess risk. To proceed to that step, users must have a Google account, a policy that will not change as the site expands across the country.
As of March 28, the Project Baseline site had tested approximately 3,700 people in California's Santa Clara, San Mateo, Riverside and Sacramento counties.
First published on March 30, 2020 / 2:52 PM
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Graham Kates is an investigative reporter covering criminal justice, privacy issues and information security for CBSNews.com.