We’ve been hearing it from health officials and political leaders alike: One of the ways we can slow the spread of the coronavirus is by knowing who has it. But a lack of available testing kits at doctors’ offices and hospitals across the country has made this feel impossible. It’s been stressful to not know which friends and family members might have this illness without even knowing it, and the virus’s symptoms (cough, fever) are so similar to the flu and the common cold that it’s hard to tell who actually needs to be tested.
Everlywell, a digital health company that creates home test kits for everything from food sensitivities to STDs, saw this predicament America is in and decided to step in. The company announced this week that it will have 30,000 coronavirus test kits available for purchase beginning Monday, March 23, and said in a release that it’s working with other labs to ramp up the number of available kits to test “a quarter of a million people weekly.”
As of right now, the test is $135 to cover the manufacturing costs. The company, which was featured on Shark Tank in 2017, said it’s not putting any cash from those tests into its own pocket and that it’s trying to get help from the federal government to make the tests totally free.
“Everlywell was founded to give people affordable, convenient access to lab testing," Julia Cheek, Everlywell’s founder and CEO says in the release. “Never has our mission been more important. Our team has been working around the clock with top scientists and laboratories in the nation to develop a test that we will make available at the lowest price possible while covering our costs, at no profit to the company.”