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A Montanan's Websites Aim To Gather Data On Symptomatic People Who Can't Get A COVID-19 Test

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With COVID-19 tests still in short supply, a Montana computer programmer created websites intended to tally the number of people in Montana and Wyoming who self-report symptoms of the disease and haven't been able to get tested.

The goal, according to Nick Schwaderer, who built UntestedMontana.com and UntestedWyoming.com, is to relay the data to the states' coronavirus task forces.

"A lot of people are saying that their doctors wish they could test them, saying they have been in direct contact with positives, but can't get tested because they're not over 60," Schwaderer said.

The websites consist of only a map and a form, where folks provide information such as their temperature, symptoms, zip code, and other relevant information.

Schwaderer recognizes that just because people report certain symptoms doesn't mean they have the virus. But he said the data will help show how many people who think they need a test can't get one.

"All we are is a conduit to make sure people are heard," the websites state.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Do you have questions about COVID-19? How has this crisis affected you? Our reporters would love to hear from you. You can submit your question or share your story here.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Maggie Mullen, at mmullen5@uwyo.edu.

 

Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.
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