Amazon to assist hometown of Seattle with COVID-19 tests at home, says report of CNBC Monday.
Test kits are provided by the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), a research effort based on the previous Seattle flu initiative, which is now focused on better understanding the spread of the new coronavirus. It receives funding from the private investment arm of Gates Ventures, co-founder of Microsoft, and receives technical assistance from its philanthropic group, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This effort reflects one in the San Francisco Bay Area funded by the philanthropic and medical research groups of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The two represent some of the largest corporate investments to try to compensate for the federal government’s failures in deploying generalized testing in the United States.
Amazon will perform test deliveries and removal via its existing Amazon Care arm, a internal healthcare platform dedicated to Amazon employees and their families. However, COVID-19 testing will not be limited to Amazon employees only. Anyone in the Seattle area will be eligible via SCAN, including children and those who do not have flu-like symptoms but may be asymptomatic. According to CNBC, “All of the couriers involved have been trained in the handling of medical equipment and will distribute the self-swab kits to the homes of those who request them.”
“Responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis must be a community effort and requires the support of the private and public sectors,” said Kristen Helton, director of Amazon Care. CNBC in a report. “We are grateful to be surrounded by a strong community of leaders in public health, global health and academia and we look forward to leveraging the infrastructure and logistics capabilities of Amazon Care to support this local effort. “
Seattle and surrounding King County were among the most affected metropolitan area in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 100 deaths.