Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network launches

Home testing
The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network will rely on at-home testing for a wide spectrum of Seattle-area residents. (Photo via SCAN / Seattle-King County Public Health)

The scientific sleuths who tracked down the origins of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak in the Seattle area have announced a new initiative to crack the case wide-open — and they’re signing up volunteers for self-testing at home.

So many volunteers responded in the first few hours that the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network, or SCAN, reached its capacity for today and told people they’ll have to check back later to sign up.

“Due to limited capacity, we will not be able to test every individual,” SCAN’s principal investigator, University of Washington geneticist Jay Shendure, said in a tweet.

The project draws upon financial support from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and is getting assistance with infrastructure and logistics from Amazon Care, a healthcare program for Amazon employees in the Seattle area.

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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