For many, the search for a rapid at-home COVID test has not been easy. Store shelves always seem to be wiped out. But a familiar face is lending her talents yet again in an effort to make the process easier.
Olivia Adams, a mom and software developer from Arlington, Massachusetts, just launched COVIDTestCollab.com. The crowdsourcing website relies on people to go in and make a report themselves about the availability of the tests at their local pharmacy. Users can also validate reports that everyone can see so everyone can benefit from the group knowledge.
"I wanted to create a one-stop shop for saying, 'Where can I get a COVID test,' so other people can know and not run to a CVS and be disappointed," Adams said.
Adams is best known for MACOVIDVaccines.com, the vaccine booking website she developed while out on maternity leave last year. Her site streamlined the process and helped thousands book appointments when many found the state's website confusing.
The new site depends on user participation to be successful, but Adams is hopeful it will help.
"I'm not actually solving the problem. I'm just giving people the tools to solve the problem," she said.
More on COVID-19 testing
State Rep. Mike Connolly, D-Cambridge, said he thinks the website could be helpful. He also thinks it speaks to the failures of government to provide easy access to testing, which is why he pushing a bill that would provide an additional $30 million to expand testing in Massachusetts.
"All of this can't come soon enough, so this speaks to the importance of what Olivia Adams is doing. The government needs to do more, and I think it's a reflection of that need," Connolly said.
Those who learned about the site in Arlington Tuesday said it would be a huge help and save them a lot of frustration.
"This looks great. I would use it in a second. I'm actually going to check it out right now, said Michael Scott, who was searching for testing kits.
Right now, COVIDTestCollab.com is only for rapid test kits that can be purchased in store, but Adams hopes to expand it to more kinds of tests. She has opened the website code so anyone who wants to help can contribute. Her focus now is spreading the word.
"Share with your friends and your family. The more that you share, the more that you work on it and put information into it, the more it will work for others," Adams said.