As the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases skyrockets in the U.S., Google has stepped up with a new website that serves as an information portal for those looking for information and resources for help. And it has upgrade the Google search experience, too.
As Google outlines in a blog post on the new COVID-19 portal, the disease is the “largest topic people are looking for globally.” As a result, Google has rolled out a website dedicated to help and resources.
If you go to google.com/covid-19, you’ll see info that’s “focused on education, prevention and local resources. The site is launching first in the U.S. and it will be available in more languages and countries in the coming days.
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The site has a spare and easy-to-navigate interface with a list on the left side for Health Information, Safety and prevention tips, Data and insights and Resources and to help. You’ll also find a link for support relief efforts.
Under Safety and Prevention tips you’ll find a Do the Five graphic with tips that include washing your hands often, coughing into your elbow and staying home if you can. You’ll also find helpful videos for topics like 10 things you can do to manage COVID-19 at home, which is from the CDC. And there’s another video for how to protect yourself against COVID-19 from the World Health Organization.
The COVID-19 page form Google also includes common searches related to coronavirus, such as remote jobs and what is social distancing. And there’s a coronavirus map and that shows the number of confirmed cases, recovered and deaths. As of this writing there are 282,395 coronavirus cases worldwide and 11,822 deaths, and the U.S. now has 19,843 cases.
To help people deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Google lists some resources to help, which includes videos on a wide range of topics. These include coping techniques for stress, tips for pantry meals and home exercise videos.
The Find resources in the US tool on Google’s site could be more useful. It’s just a drop-down menu of states. When you click on your state, you’ll get a quick link to your state’s department of health. While that’s useful, a list of COVID-19 drive-through testing locations by state would be welcome, something we have compiled.
This effort is completely separate than what Google’s parent company Alphabet is doing with Project Baseline by verily, which is a website dedicated to help people perform risk screening and qualifying for testing.
Google has also upgraded its search experience around COVID-19. The company is providing “easy access to authoritative information from health authorities alongside new data and visualizations.”
For example, if you search for Coronavirus, you’ll see a dedicated box that says COVID-19 Alert with tabs for Overview, Symptoms, Prevention and Treatments. This should help those who are looking for information quickly.
In addition, you’ll see Twitter accounts from local civic organization and health authorities, as well as snippets sources from the CDC and WHO.
Given the amount of misinformation out there around coronavirus, Google’s efforts here are a very good start, but we would like to see more coordination between Google and the states to get those who need testing the information they need more quickly.