The Google sister company offering coronavirus tests ran out of appointments within a day of launching a website to help patients schedule them.
Verily, a health-focused subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, opened the site Monday to screen people in Northern California for the coronavirus and direct them to local testing centers. But the website was quickly overwhelmed and now tells users it is “unable to schedule more appointments at this time” as of Tuesday morning.
A notice on the website urges visitors to check back soon as Verily works to expand its testing efforts. The company did not immediately answer questions about when it expects to increase its testing capacity or how many appointments were booked before all the slots were filled.
“In these first few days of this pilot, we expect appointment availability to be limited as we stand up operations and that testing capacity will increase in the days to come,” Verily told The Verge, which reported on the appointments running out Monday.
Verily launched the screening website after President Trump promised in a Friday news conference that Google was working on a tool to help Americans determine whether and how to get a test for the coronavirus.
But Verily has described its “pilot program” as relatively limited in scope — it’s open only to residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and is not meant for people exhibiting severe symptoms who need immediate medical attention.
“The program is in its early stages, and we will take the time to assess operations at pilot sites in the Bay Area before rolling out to additional sites,” Verily said in a Sunday blog post about the project.