One week in the past, President Donald Trump held a press convention whereby he claimed Google could be constructing a screening web site for the coronavirus that might direct folks to testing websites. As we discovered within the following days, that wasn’t true. Google’s sister firm Verily did launch such a website, however just for the Bay Space and reportedly it solely supplied exams to a really small variety of folks. Google, nonetheless, did say it could launch some form of web site and after a small delay, it’s right here.
Alongside the web site and doubtlessly extra importantly, Google will begin offering extra enhanced info playing cards for individuals who seek for phrases associated to the coronavirus. There can be info tabs for signs, prevention, international statics, and domestically related info. It should look a bit like this:
The web site is at google.com/covid19. It does have helpful sources, together with a card that mimics what you see above. Google’s post announcing the site says that it is possible for you to to seek out “state-based info, security and prevention ideas, search tendencies associated to COVID-19, and additional sources for people, educators and companies.” Google emphasizes that it’s pulling info from “authoritative” sources just like the WHO and the CDC.
It’s solely obtainable in English proper now, however a Google spokesperson tells The Verge that Spanish language help is quickly to observe. The location was additionally designed with accessibility in thoughts, together with with the bigger fonts that Google often makes use of.
The web site has movies in ASL, a world map exhibiting confirmed circumstances by nation, and loads of details about Google’s different aid efforts — plus some feel-good YouTube movies.
Studying by that description, nonetheless, you’ll discover that it doesn’t embrace what Trump initially claimed it could. The closest factor to discovering a take a look at is a drop-down menu that gives hyperlinks to native web sites — for instance, selecting California supplies a hyperlink to the California Division of Public Well being.
Proper now, the CDC has a “self-checker” chatbot that Microsoft helped construct, however the WSJ quoted an executive from a healthcare provider who put in a practical context: “It’s simply one thing shoppers want now to assist with anxiousness.”
In different phrases, plenty of large tech firms are making efforts to supply coronavirus-related help, however none of them are capable of resolve among the largest issues within the pandemic: entry to testing and the upcoming disaster in our healthcare infrastructure.
Sooner or later sooner or later, Google may very well present a questionnaire and details about native drive-thru testing places. However a spokesperson says that the corporate gained’t accomplish that till there’s authoritative and reliable info on these websites. That could possibly be a very long time coming, sadly.