Local teen Eli Coustan creates website to locate COVID-19 tests


Photo courtesy of Eli Coustan

Fourteen-year-old Evanston resident Eli Coustan created his second website to help others during the pandemic.

Ella Jeffries, Reporter

When Evanston Township High School freshman Eli Coustan wanted to meet with his aunt for Christmas, he realized getting an at-home COVID-19 test was “extremely difficult.”

Prompted by this realization, he created FindACovidTest.org, a website which connects users with tests. The site includes more than 15 different brand options, 13 retailer options and three at-home COVID-19 test types for users to choose from. Options are organized from lowest to highest price, and users can translate the site into different languages through Google Translate. 

“I thought of the idea maybe a little over two weeks ago, and I created the first prototype that I launched within a few days,” Coustan said. “I’ve been improving the website since then, making it easy for users to get what they want quickly. I want to be able to help as many people as possible.” 

A year ago, Coustan created his first website to help Illinois residents locate and book vaccine appointments. He archived this website in August after the federal government launched vaccines.gov, but in light of the recent surge, Coustan said he wanted to continue helping others. 

Coustan hopes the government will eventually create a website that functions the same as his own. 

“I don’t want to have to be doing this,” he said. “I understand these are extraordinary cases and that (the government is) very busy, and I’m sure they will get something soon, but I just wanted to do what I can to help.”

While his first website only served the Evanston area, his new site services users across the country. 

Pennsylanian resident Jennifer Kapp said purchasing a test off the website was “super easy,” and she was able to provide tests for other family members. 

“Prior to finding the website, I spent $30 on each test, whereas now I was able to find one that was $30 for a two pack,” Kapp said. “Now I have a bunch of tests available for my family or I when we need them.” 

President and CEO of The Chicago Network Maria Doughty recently used Coustan’s website to buy a test. She said she commends him for his innovation and dedication to serving others. 

Doughty said she found the website accessible for those who struggle with technology. Before using the website, she said she didn’t realize how many different types of manufacturing tests were available to her, and the tests she ordered came within three days.

“Eli had the state of mind of wanting to help in a situation that’s very crisis sensitive,” Doughty said. “And when I think about the future of our generation, it provided tremendous hope.” 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @ellajeffriess

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