NEW YORK – Color Health said on Friday that it has partnered with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase access to no-cost, PCR-based, COVID-19 testing.
Through the CDC's Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program, Color will "stand up nearly 1,000 new testing sites across the country in the coming weeks," the firm said in a statement, with the majority in public libraries and pharmacies in rural areas. Testing sites will be determined by the CDC's Social Vulnerability Index, a measure of a community's vulnerability to public health emergency. The partners will place an emphasis on testing individuals who are under- and uninsured and at higher risk for severe COVID-19.
Many sites will be unmonitored, providing free testing kits for individuals to pick up, conduct nasal swabs themselves, and drop off. Color said in an email that the sites will use PCR testing; the firm offers both molecular and antigen tests as part of its COVID-19 testing platform.
Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"When there are COVID-19 surges, underserved populations continue to have trouble accessing testing quickly and efficiently to prevent the spread in their communities — despite the fact that we are years into the pandemic," Color CEO Othman Laraki said in a statement. "Through the ICATT program, we're bringing Color's proven testing capabilities — and our commitment to improving public health — to locations where they are urgently needed. We're proud to support the CDC to help these communities become more resilient, both today and in advance of future surges of the virus."
Color joins Quest Diagnostics in providing COVID-19 testing through ICATT. Based in Burlingame, California, Color has COVID-19 testing partnerships with San Francisco, the state of California, and the National Institutes of Health, among other institutions. In 2021, Color partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific to provide COVID-19 testing to school districts nationwide.