It seems like there are breaking new reports about COVID-19 coming out every second, and it's getting difficult to keep track of what information is up-to-date and reputable. Enter Apple. The technology company has introduced a new platform that's meant to make it easier for users to access accurate, need-to-know facts and guidance about coronavirus and their health.
Apple has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create a brand-new free app and website dedicated entirely to COVID-19. The aim of these platforms is to help people across the U.S. stay informed about how they can best protect their health and the well-being of those around them.
When you open the app or site and click "Start Screening," you'll be asked to answer a series of questions about symptoms, preexisting conditions that could influence your risk, and whether it's likely you've been exposed to the virus. You'll then receive some clear-cut suggestions for your next steps, based on up-to-date CDC recommendations. You'll be told whether you should self-quarantine or seek COVID-19 testing, for instance.
The app and site will also tell you how to closely monitor any symptoms, and when you should contact your medical provider. They supply CDC guidelines on hand-washing and how to properly clean and disinfect surfaces as well.
Although this screening tool provides important info from the CDC to users, Apple cautions that it does not replace instructions from healthcare providers. If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms, call your healthcare provider ASAP. But the service can provide some peace of mind, and a fast, simple way to get advice you can trust.