The new screening tools are available online and in the App Store and provide a questionnaire to see if coronavirus symptoms warrant treatment and testing.
The COVID-19 app and website were built in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Coronavirus symptoms assessed via Apple app
The app and website both have up-to-date information on the coronavirus and tells people what to do if they’re experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, a fever or difficulty breathing. It also includes less well-known symptoms such as a sore throat, chills, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea.
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The tools take the user through several pages of questions based on risk factors, recent exposure and symptoms for either themself or someone else. They are then directed to call their medical provider or 911 if there is a concern that they may have COVID-19 based on their responses. There are also guidelines on social distancing and self-isolating, as well as how to closely monitor symptoms and whether or not a test is recommended.
There is also information from the CDC on best practices for washing hands, disinfecting surfaces and monitoring symptoms.
Along with the new COVID-19 app and website, customers in the US may also ask Siri, “How do I know if I have coronavirus?” to access guidance and resources from the CDC and a curated collection of telehealth apps available on the App Store. Beginning this week, anyone who landed at certain international airports in the US received notifications on their iPhone to remind them of current CDC guidance to stay home and monitor their health.
Apple said that it will not collect or store the responses that people give to the questionnaire, although it will be collecting anonymous information about how the tools are used. It has said the tool is for anyone 18 or older.
People do not need an Apple account to use the screening tools.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Wednesday via Twitter that Apple would be donating 10 million face masks to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Cook tweeted, “Proud to share we’ve been able to source 10M masks for the US and millions more for the hardest hit regions in Europe. Our ops teams are helping to find and purchase masks from our supply chain in coordination with governments around the world.”
IBM just published three COVID-19 related Call for Code starter kits. These are quick-start guides that explain the individual problems that people and communities are facing with COVID-19 to help developers get a jump-start on creating applications tied to easy-to-understand use cases.
And Google launched a website last week to provide users with more information about the coronavirus.