Gates Foundation developing at-home coronavirus testing kits

Mar 9, 2020, 12:29 PM | Updated: 1:15 pm
coronavirus testing...
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation in New Jersey. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

The Gates Foundation could soon boost testing capacity for coronavirus in the region with a developing project that would offer at-home testing kits.

Patients would swab their noses and send in the sample for analysis, hopefully able to receive their results in one to two days from local health officials, according to a report from The Seattle Times. Those infected would also fill out an online form that would ask questions about their activities, movement, and contacts to help determine who else may need to be tested and work to contain the spread. The goal of this program would be to test thousands of patients per day, though there is no set launch date yet.

“Although there’s a lot to be worked out, this has enormous potential to turn the tide of the epidemic,” Scott Dowell, leader of coronavirus response at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, told The Seattle Times.

The Gates Foundation has already committed up to $100 million to help with the global response to coronavirus, and an additional $5 million last week to assist in the public health response in the greater Seattle area.

Washington state has reported the most cases and deaths from coronavirus in the United States with 136 cases as of Monday, but testing has been limited so far. The state Department of Health has indicated that tests are currently prioritized for anyone with underlying health conditions or serious illness. If you have mild symptoms, the DOH recommends staying home and away from others.

Experts like epidemiologist Dr. Eric Ding have said that increased testing is the best way to get a full picture of the illness, and be able to better contain the spread.

The University of Washington is also working to increase testing capacity with a new lab test announced last week that the university said could analyze up to 1,000 samples each day. The UW has implemented a drive-through clinic for UW Medicine employees starting this week where health care workers who are showing symptoms can be tested without leaving their car.

UW School of Medicine ready to test 1,000 samples per day for coronavirus

The university is partnering with the Gates Foundation on the home testing program.

Local News

Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
20 hours ago
shipping containers...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Approximately 40 shipping containers adrift off Washington coast

Approximately 40 shipping containers were lost off a ship 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to the United States Coast Guard.
20 hours ago
Kathryn Altena

Gov. Inslee, Washington groups prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

In the coming months, 1,400 Afghan refugees are expected to pass through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport upon their arrival in Washington.
20 hours ago
King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski...
Nick Bowman

King County Councilmember accused of history of ‘verbally abusive’ behavior toward female staff

King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski is facing accusations detailing a history of verbally abusive behavior toward female staff members.
20 hours ago
Microsoft campus, vaccine...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Racial harassment allegations at Microsoft campus construction site in Redmond

Racial harassment on the job — that’s what a Black construction employee says he was dealing with for months at the build site on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond.
20 hours ago
Jaime Herrera Beutler...
Nick Bowman

Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was among nine Republicans who voted in favor of holding Steve Bannon in contempt on Thursday.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Gates Foundation developing at-home coronavirus testing kits