COVID

Arlington woman creates website to help track down at-home COVID-19 tests

Olivia Adams made headlines for creating a website to find vaccines last year.

AP Photo/David Dermer, File

An Arlington software engineer who created a website to help people track down COVID-19 vaccines is at it again, this time launching a website that helps people find rapid at-home tests for the virus.

Olivia Adams launched covidtestcollab.com which allows visitors to find out where they can get nearby rapid tests. People can also help the website stay up-to-date about locations with tests — or stores that have sold out.

The mother of two announced her new endeavor on Twitter on Monday.

“Just launched covidtestcollab.com for crowd-sourcing #covidtest availability anywhere in the world. Report where there are/aren’t tests available so we can get through #omicron! This site is only as good as we make it, so please participate and share!” Adams wrote.

Visitors to the site can enter their location to view all documented test sites in the surrounding area. The list shows whether a location has tests for sale or not. A search of one Boston zip-code brought up 50 storefronts, including CVS, Target, Walgreens, and 7-Eleven. The results spanned the Greater Boston area, highlighting test sites in Framingham, Natick, Brockton, Danvers, Salem, Arlington, and several sites in Boston. 

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There is an option to add a “report” on the site, which takes users to a short form that asks for a date and location, and whether tests are available or unavailable at a particular storefront.

The new site comes roughly a year after Adams created a COVID-19 vaccine finder site serving Massachusetts, macovidvaccines.com, which she built while on maternity leave. Speaking to the press in February 2021, Adams said she was inspired to create the vaccine-finder because of the difficulty her family members had trying to get appointments. That site stopped reporting on vaccine availability in June, as access to the shots improved.

“I was surprised at how decentralized everything was and how there were a thousand different sites to go to,” Adams told CNN at the time. “And I thought how can I put my software skills to use to make this better in my free time?”

Fifty-two volunteers helped with Adams’ vaccine-finding project, according to statistics on the website. Over the course of five months, people visited the site over 20 million times. 

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