Amazon Offers to Help Gates Foundation Deliver COVID-19 Test Kits

Amazon Offers to Help Gates Foundation Deliver COVID-19 Test Kits

Amazon Care, the online retail giant's virtual medical clinic for employees, is in talks with local public health organizations about using its logistics expertise to help deliver at-home coronavirus testing kits in the Seattle area, CNBC reports.

Three people with knowledge of the plans told CNBC that Amazon Care has offered  to help the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with its project to create and distribute test kits to Seattle residents who suspect they may have COVID-19. According to CNBC and the Seattle Times, Amazon has offered to help devise a delivery plan, at no cost, so that test kits can be delivered to residents within a few hours using Care Courier.

Funded by Gates Ventures, a venture capital firm established by Bill Gates, the project to create and distribute home-testing kits grew out of the Seattle Flu Study initiative, a collaborative effort whose partners include UW Medicine, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children's. The test kits will include nose swabs that can be mailed to the University of Washington for analysis. The goal, according to Scott Dowell, who is leading the foundation's coronavirus response, is to be able to process thousands of tests a day.

(Photo credit: UW Medicine)