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Google Maps warns to call your doctor before visiting if you think you contracted COVID-19

Google Maps warns to call your doctor before visiting if you think you contracted COVID-19


A PSA on location pages

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People are searching for doctors on Google Maps, and the service wants to prevent them from potentially infecting offices and medical specialists with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Google Maps now displays a warning for medical facilities that users should call ahead if they suspect they are infected with the novel coronavirus. Tapping through on the warning brings up the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website and a page about what to do if someone is feeling sick. On iOS, the warning shows up on each location’s listing, but on Android devices, it appears in the search results, too.

Google’s been working to ensure people see legitimate information and messaging around COVID-19. Searching Google for “coronavirus” sends people to a curated search results page with resources from the World Health Organization, safety tips, and news updates. It implemented that change in January. It’s also building a website that’ll give people information about testing and screening.

The company issued a joint statement with six other tech companies, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Microsoft, committing themselves to keeping misinformation off of their platforms. Still, it’s unclear what these companies are planning to do.

Twitter told The Verge that it will start providing nongovernmental organizations advertising credits to boost public health campaigns and warned that their elevated moderation efforts could result in some enforcement “mistakes.” Part of this campaign might simply be putting legitimate information and PSAs front and center in their products, as Google is now doing with Google Maps.