Apple Debuts Screening App for COVID-19

Website also assesses users' answers and offers information
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2020 4:30 PM CDT
Apple Debuts Screening App for COVID-19
An Apple employee sanitizes a table inside a closed store in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

You can now ask Apple your coronavirus questions. A website and a free app that launched Friday provide general information about the disease and a COVID-19 screening tool that can lead the user to next steps, the Verge reports. It asks about possible contact with infected people, travel and symptoms, then offers recommendations based on the answers, including "talk to someone about testing." If breathing is a problem, the tool says to call 911 immediately. The app stops short of sending the user to a specific place to be tested. The website and app provide the same information, per TechCrunch. The company says the tools were developed with the help of the CDC, FEMA, and the White House.

Answers are not collected, Apple says, though the privacy note says "some information about how you use" the site is. Siri and Alexa have stepped up during the pandemic, and they also can offer advice about the coronavirus and assess symptoms. Both ask questions, then direct the user to information from the CDC. By request, Alexa will sing a 20-second song to mark the minimum amount of time required for proper hand-washing to combat the spread of the virus. Users can leave the crisis out of it and just say, "Sing a song for 20 seconds," per KDFW. (More coronavirus stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.