Why it matters: Apple has been working with several government agencies to create a screening tool for people worried they may have gotten infected with the coronavirus. The tool is easy-to-use and will offer guidance for anyone who needs it.
Today, Apple released a new Covid-19 screening tool in both app and website form, so that people can stay informed and take appropriate measures as necessary, even if they don’t own an Apple device. There’s no sign-in required and data won’t be shared with any government or third-party, which is in line with Apple’s privacy philosophy.
The tool was developed through a partnership with the CDC, FEMA, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and comes hot on the heels of Google’s Project Baseline, which has a similar mission.
Using the screening tool is simple: you’ll get asked some questions about any symptoms you might have, your recent travels, and whether you’ve had contact with people who’ve been exposed to the virus. Then you’ll be taken to a separate page with recommendations about what to do next, including whether or not you should get tested for the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, Apple also added this capability to Siri, so it can now guide those of you who are worried about your symptoms. If you ask Siri, “how do I know if I have coronavirus?” the assistant will take you through the same survey and then guide you on what to do next.
Apple says the ‘Screening Tool’ app and website also work as a repository of resources about how to monitor symptoms, self-isolate, and answers to frequently asked questions about Covid-19. You can find a series of best practices on how to wash your hands properly and disinfect surfaces you come in contact with every day.
In weeks prior, the company updated its online documentation with information on how to disinfect your Apple devices, after previously advising against using cleaning products on them.