May 8, 2020 - Health

Tech firms help local governments meet coronavirus testing needs

Ina Fried, author of Login

Photo: Adobe

As more and more cities look to automate the coronavirus testing process, tech companies are working together to ensure that people can use an app or website to schedule tests instead of waiting in a potentially dangerous line.

Why it matters: Many testing locations remain overwhelmed by demand, but some are still underused. More efficient coordination could help make better use of the resources we have.

Driving the news: In Tarrant County, Texas, Adobe, Oracle, Accenture and Splunk (along with some smaller firms) teamed up to help people determine whether they are eligible and then find a testing site and schedule a time.

The big picture: There is a huge need for tech help at all levels of government, as evidenced by these efforts as well as other projects, such as the volunteer-led U.S. Digital Response.

"We all need the government to work and now that means digitally," Adobe general counsel Dana Rao told Axios, adding that digital literacy was not a typical strength of governments even before the pandemic.

Yes, but: Tech partnerships don't guarantee broader coordination, either among the companies themselves or the many municipalities that are all trying to set up similar programs.

  • In many cases, a local government ends up working with whichever tech companies it happens to have a relationship with.
  • "I wouldn't say it's very coordinated right now," Rao said.

What's next: Now that the partners have rolled out their system in Tarrant County, they hope to offer it to other state and local governments.

Go deeper

Increased armed presence planned for D.C. tonight

Demonstrators stand around a fire during a protest near the White House in response to the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Government officials say plans are in place for a significantly heavier armed presence on the streets of Washington, D.C. tonight in response to the increasingly violent protests linked to the death of George Floyd.

What we're hearing: "Tonight you will see increased presence, both police...other agencies, and National Guard presence," a source familiar with the government's plans said.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,226,408 — Total deaths: 373,973 — Total recoveries — 2,672,161Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,799,747 — Total deaths: 104,702 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.

New York City to impose curfew amid ongoing protests

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York City will be placed under curfew on Monday from 11pm until 5am Tuesday morning following days of protests over the death of George Floyd, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The big picture: Demonstrations in New York, like in cities across the country, turned violent over the weekend as protesters clashed with police late into the night. The number of police officers on the streets of New York will double from 4,000 to 8,000.