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Why frontline healthcare workers need COVID-19 tests

Last updated: April 7, 2020

UPDATE: To date, we’ve supplied testing to thousands of frontline healthcare workers, seniors, and high-risk patients nationwide by partnering with qualifying hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and government agencies.

We’re working diligently to get more COVID-19 tests available. There’s an extreme shortage of necessary supplies in the U.S., like nasal swabs, and our team is working to restock inventory as quickly as possible.

Visit our COVID-19 Testing Resource for regular status updates on test availability.

Published: Sunday, March 22

Healthcare workers face the highest risk of exposure as COVID-19 continues to spread. Recent briefings from the White House's Coronavirus Task Force have stated it's become increasingly apparent there is a desperate need for healthcare workers taking care of patients on the frontlines to have priority access to testing for COVID-19. The hundreds of inbound requests we received from healthcare institutions over the last 5 days, which have asked for over 250,000 tests for their frontline staff and priority patients, affirms this.

For those reasons, we have made the decision to allocate our initial days' supply of COVID-19 Tests to healthcare companies with health workers on the frontlines only in order to get these tests in the hands of those who need them most urgently.

We are still committed to making this test available to consumers who fall within the CDC’s guidelines for recommended testing soon and will be providing updates about consumer availability on our site.

By providing healthcare workers with COVID-19 Tests, we help mitigate the spread of the virus within the healthcare community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 50 percent of the people (222 of 445) exposed to the first 10 patients with travel-related confirmed COVID-19 cases were healthcare workers. The New Yorker reports that 1300 healthcare workers became infected during the outbreak in Wuhan, with an infection rate more than three times as high as the general population.

Today, COVID-19 cases are increasing daily, with caregivers working strenuous hours having to reuse or go without proper equipment like N95 respirator masks, as they come into contact with an insurmountable number of COVID-19 cases. Compounded with an increased number of people seeking treatments for unknown conditions in emergency rooms, healthcare workers are more at risk of contracting the disease and possibly transmitting it to patients or staff. This could lead to a reduction in healthcare personnel capacity, leaving a much-needed and already strained workforce short-staffed.

Raising the question: if our healthcare workers become ill with COVID-19, who will be healthy enough to treat patients?

We believe it is critically important to equip our healthcare workers who put themselves at risk with the tools and resources they need to test broadly and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay informed on the latest status of Everlywell and the U.S. COVID-19 Test availability by visiting our COVID-19 Testing Resource.