San Francisco, Alameda counties cut ties with Verily for COVID-19 testing

Maia Anderson –
Monday, October 26th, 2020
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Alameda County screening director Dr. Jocelyn Freeman Garrick informed Kaiser Health News that while the Verily websites helped the county reach its testing goals in regards to raw numbers, the sites were phased out since tests were taking a week or more for outcomes and since the tests werent reaching the citizens most in requirement..

A Verily spokesperson told Kaiser Health News that the program requires users to register with their gmail accounts because Googles authentication procedures secure sensitive information and protect “against unknown people sending out or receiving info with major consequences for health or wellness.”.

Verily, Googles life sciences sister business, agreements with major screening companies such as Quest Diagnostics to supply test kits and do lab work, while Verily offers a digital platform for people to be evaluated for testing, schedule appointments and check their test results..

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San Francisco and Alameda counties in California have cut ties with Verilys screening websites, mentioning concerns about clients information personal privacy and that the test sites were only benefittng higher-income neighborhoods, Kaiser Health News reported..

In June, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and other members of Alameda countys COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force sent a letter to California Secretary of Health Mark Ghaly about their worry about Verilys protocols. Their complaints consisted of that people signing up for screening through Verily needed to do so online using gmail accounts, and the signups were only provided in English or Spanish. Participants also needed to provide sensitive info, such as their home address, which data could be exposed to third-party users..

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In March, California signed a multimillion dollar contract with Verily to broaden COVID-19 testing in the states impoverished and underserved communities. San Francisco and Alameda counties, two of the states most populous, have cut ties with Verily, according to Kaiser Health News..

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In June, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and other members of Alameda countys COVID-19 Racial Disparities Task Force sent out a letter to California Secretary of Health Mark Ghaly about their issues with Verilys protocols. Their complaints included that individuals signing up for screening through Verily had to do so online using gmail accounts, and the signups were just offered in English or Spanish. © Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020.