Amazon, Gates Foundation boost COVID-19 testing

A lab worker at the University of Washington Virology Lab gets a virus sample ready for testing. Details of the package have been obscured to ensure privacy protection. (UW Medicine via YouTube)

Amazon Care is offering assistance to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a plan to deliver coronavirus test kits to Seattle homes, CNBC reports.

The plan as described hints at a grand convergence involving two major players on Seattle’s tech scene, plus the University of Washington and the Seattle Flu Study.

Amazon Care is an on-demand healthcare clinic that’s open on a pilot basis to Seattle-area Amazon employees and their families. CNBC quoted unnamed sources as saying Amazon has offered to come up with a plan to deliver the test kits, which include nasal swabs to take samples, at no cost.

In an email to GeekWire, an Amazon spokesperson said “we’re in discussions with leaders in public health about how we can help” – but didn’t provide further details.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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