If you have questions about coronavirus, you can now ask Siri, and she will tell you everything that you need to know. Siri previously would direct you to websites about the coronavirus, but now the assistant can walk through a possible diagnosis as well as lead you to resources that can help you if you’re sick.
Starting over the weekend, Apple began updating its virtual assistant by adding answers to common questions people are asking about the virus. Not only can you search for information, but the voice assistant can function as a screening tool if a user is concerned about being sick. Siri will ask users a series of yes or no questions about their symptoms. It also queries a person about other factors such as travel to a high-risk area or contact with an infected person.
Siri’s new COVID-19 tool is powered by information from the U.S. Public Health Service and the CDC. If its answers are concerning, Siri will direct a person to seek medical attention immediately. It also provides links to telehealth apps that allow a person to seek medical advice from the comfort of their home.
This new service is one small part of Apple’s company-wide response to the novel coronavirus epidemic that is taking the world by storm. The company also unveiled a new Apple TV Plus show called Oprah Talks COVID-19, during which, talkshow host Oprah Winfrey talks to experts and those who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Oprah Talks COVID-19 will air weekly on Apple TV.
Apple also is giving money to coronavirus relief efforts and is donating N95 masks, which are essential to protecting medical personnel from catching the illness from the people they are treating.