An Example of Testing for COVID-19 To Share With Employees

Below is an email from the CEO of one of our portfolio companies. We are sharing this with you so you are aware of some testing options and how things work. Those of us at Clear want you and your employees to be safe. Testing is part of that approach to safety


I just returned from a GoHealth clinic in San Bruno (near SFO). The process:

  • All their clinics that offer testing can be found here:
  • Look for clinics that you would drive to (e.g., Redwood city didn’t have appointments for COVID testing today, but San Bruno did)
  •  You fill out a brief on line questionnaire including your insurance card (they take our insurance, to my knowledge the test is fully. covered)
  •  You show up to the clinic that’s usually located in a shopping center and park in one of several reserved parking spots in front of the clinic
  • Technician comes out, looks at your driver’s license, swabs your nostrils (tickles a bit, you might sneeze afterwards) and asks you to wait
  • 15 minutes later they come back with a printed report and you can drive off. 30 minutes from drive up to drive away.

I tested negative

They use an Abbott Labs fast PCR test. The test has 0.02% false positive (i.e. it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be diagnosed as positive while in reality you don’t have the COVID19 RNA in your nostrils). There are reports that false negatives from the test are as high as 20%. In quick reading, it strikes me that this is way too high and likely results from mishandling the test/reagents in March/April and I hope they fixed these issues since. My guess is that the rate is less than 10% based on this article, meaning that I have a 10% chance of still having the COVID19 RNA in my nostrils despite the negative diagnosis.

I also got tested this morning in a different clinic ( in East Palo Alto on Bell St. close to our offices, free, drive through, you self swab your nostrils, 30 min in the drive through line). Results expected in 2-5 days. To the best of my knowledge, this is a research project using their proprietary diagnostic platform. I couldn’t find any data on false negative/positive on their FAQ or blog. I’ll share the results when I get them via email.

I believe that while working inside, masking with an effective mask (you buy on amazon or etsy – we’ll pay) is a good way to minimize the possible transmission. Periodic testing for the next few months is probably inevitable.

We need to get used to this new normal and keep operating.

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