Apple has updated its digital COVID-19 screening app and website. The screening tools feature new coronavirus symptoms identified and provided by CDC, new instructions to wear cloth masks, and a direct link to Apple News app for all coronavirus news and updates.
Last month, Apple added ‘Choose State’ feature to allows users to reach their respective States’ health agencies for guidance or care.
New COVID-19 Symptoms
In the ‘About COVID-19’ section, Apple has added a new direct link to CDC website for updated coronavirus symptoms in children and adults. The CDC webpage lists down wide range of virus symptoms from mild-to-severe, which appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. As the virus affects each person differently, CDC as categorized cough and shortness of breath as underlining symptoms in all, with a combination of any two of the following: fever, chills with repeated shakes, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and loss of taste and smell.
Instruction to Wear Cloth Masks
‘What you can do’ section on the app and website screening tools has a new dedicated category for ‘using cloth masks’ for self protection, and to stop the spread of coronavirus. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, there has been a masks shortage worldwide because of supply issues and hoarding for profits. Thus, cloth masks are a suitable alternative.
Apple’s COVID-19 screening tools now have a direct link to CDC guidance web page for information and creation of cloth masks. Users can access information on what fabrics to use, and follow step by step tutorials to easily make masks at home.
Apple has also listed down ways to keep self made cloth masks clean and have instructed to not use them on children under 2 years old. Besides reusability and easy cleaning of cloth masks, Apple has politely asked people to leave N95 masks for frontline warriors: doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, grocery shop workers and others.
Subscribe to Apple News app for reliable COVID-19 updates
Along with all these updates, Apple also added a link to its Apple News app to its digital screening tools as a credible source of accurate and verified COVID-19 news. Unfortunately, this persisting health crisis has given an opportunity to some devious minds to spew unsubstantial misinformation on cures, and spread of the virus, and conspiracy theories on the origin and reasons for lockdown. Thus, in these times, credible news sources are the need of the hour.
In related news, during Apple’s Q2 2020 earnings call, Tim Cook reported 125 millions monthly users for Apple News app during the pandemic. Although the service is only available in four markets, this jump in monthly users reflects that people trust Apple as a reliable source of news.
Apple is contributing wholeheartedly in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by bringing technological help and medical supplies to health authorities in the United States and worldwide. So far, Apple has manufactured face shields, built COVID-19 app and website screening tools, updated Maps app with COVID-19 testing sites, and others. But the most significant contribution is the development of contact tracing technology in partnership with Google.
Designed and built exclusively for the United States, COVID-19 app can be downloaded from the App Store. However, the COVID-19 website can be accessed from all over the world and can be used as a screening tool at home.