An Evanston teenager who created a website to help residents book COVID vaccine appointments now has a new mission, creating a site that will help residents find at-home coronavirus tests at a time when the kits have become more difficult to locate.
Eli Coustan, a 14-year-old whose vaccine appointment website helped countless individuals book their shots, says that his COVID test finder came about because of the difficulty his family was having in finding tests prior to a gathering.
“It was difficult to find these when we wanted to have a gathering with my aunt,” he said. “A few days later, I was thinking ‘is there a way for me to create a website that lists where you can get COVID tests shipped to your home,’ and then I created it.”
The website, FindaCOVIDTest.org, allows users to select what brand of test they want, and allows them to choose which store they would like to order it from. The site then scours the internet for results.
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“You can see if there’s any in-stock, and if not, you can set up notifications at a few stores so that you get a notification when they do go back in-stock,” he said.
The site uses either email or text notifications for residents looking for tests in specific areas.
While many of the site’s users have been locally-based, it has helped individuals in other parts of the country, including Pennsylvania resident Jennifer Kapp.
“Immediately, I had about eight different hits show up, and it shows you what sites they are and how much they cost, so then you can just click, go right to the website and immediately order,” she said.
Max Stein is another user of the website, and swears by its intuitive design.
“By providing this service, he is making it possible for people to know their status sooner, which is going to help people stay healthy,” he said.
Coustan says that the website has built-in accessibility features and can be used in languages other than English.
While he hopes that the website can help people find the tests they need, he also hopes that soon the site will become obsolete once the government begins to ship out COVID tests to individuals who request them.
“We don’t want an at-home test shortage,” he said. “So if tomorrow the government starts shipping out COVID tests to everyone and the site is no longer necessary, that would be great. That’s the goal in my mind.”