In response to a mass shortage of available tests, a U.S. medical-testing startup will soon offer a direct-to-consumer test for the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
The company, called Everlywell, will initially have 30,000 tests available to purchase online starting Monday, March 23. Tests will be priced at $135, which includes overnight sample delivery, according to Everlywell’s press release.
People will have to go through an initial screening before they can purchase a test, which would include questions based on coronavirus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Results will be available online within 48 hours of the company receiving the test, and those who test positive can virtually connect with a physician for free.
Everlywell said that it worked with top scientists and laboratories to develop the test. The U.S. is facing disorganized coronavirus testing, as well as an overall shortage of tests.
“The extreme shortage of tests for COVID-19 puts millions of Americans at risk. Everlywell is committed to helping stop the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. by making this test widely available. As the national leader in at-home lab testing, we want to use our resources and expertise to help as many people as we can. We are committed to this fight, and we’re here to help, ”said Julia Cheek, founder and CEO of Everlywell, in the company’s press release.
Cheek added that Everywell would not profit from the coronavirus tests and that it reached out to government and public health officials to find out how it can offer the test for free.
The company is known for making at-home tests for a variety of diseases and ailments, including Lyme Disease, food sensitivity, STDs, fertility, and more.
An Everywell spokesperson told Digital Trends that the coronavirus test was reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“All of Everlywell’s laboratory partners conducting COVID-19 testing have had their validation data and reports reviewed by the FDA under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) framework,” the spokesperson said.
The FDA and the CDC did not immediately respond to our request for comment on Everlywell’s coronavirus test. We will update this story when we hear back.
Testing in the U.S. is nowhere near where it needs to be, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that getting the U.S. organized on testing will allow us to overcome the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Estimates suggest fewer than 10,000 Americans have been tested, significantly fewer than the 20,000 per day tested in South Korea.
As of this writing, there have been more than 230,050 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and 9,358 confirmed deaths, according to an online dashboard that tracks cases.