Google searches for terms related to COVID-19 will now display information for more than 2,000 COVID-19 test centers in 43 states, the company said. The edge.
There are also other changes. When you search for something related to COVID-19, you will now see a new “Test” tab as part of the information displayed in Google’s COVID-19 SOS alert. When you click or tap on this Test tab, you will see a number of resources regarding COVID-19 tests at the top of your search results. These include: a link to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Online Symptom Checker, a suggestion to speak to a health care provider if you think you should get tested, a link to COVID-19 test information from your local health authorities and a note that you may need to call in advance at a test center to make sure you can actually take a test.
The Test tab will also show you information about specific test centers unless you’re in Connecticut, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon or Pennsylvania, says Google The edge. Indeed, Google only goes back to the surface of test sites whose publication has been approved by health authorities. For the same reason, Google only lists one test center located in Albany for New York State, but the company plans to add new lists from New York soon.
Here is what the results look like for me. I’m writing this from Portland, OR, so the results don’t list test centers near me.
COVID-19 test criteria and availability vary depending on where you live, which is why Google points to local information with these resources. Test information comes from “government agencies, public health departments, or directly from health facilities,” according to one Google support document.
Google launched a COVID-19 website on March 21 with information and resources on the pandemic. Google’s sister company Verily also offers Free COVID-19 tests for people in certain parts of California, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania if they qualify after being screened online.
Google isn’t the only company making it easy to find information about COVID-19 tests. Last weekend, Apple launched a website so that healthcare providers and labs that offer COVID-19 tests can submit their information and appear in Apple Maps search results as test sites.