- Google’s coronavirus website is still offline, as the company has delayed the launch to later this week.
- The website will display updated information about the COVID-19 pandemic from the WHO and CDC.
- Screening and testing details will also be available on the website and other Google services once it launches.
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Google found out during President Trump’s coronavirus national emergency press conference on Friday that it was supposedly building a coronavirus website that it would assist people with information about COVID-19 testing locations. The Search giant had to explain at the time that it was Verily, a service also owned by Google-parent company Alphabet, that was working on the coronavirus screening service, but the site would not be the kind of nationwide effort that Trump advertised. Google over the weekend announced that it was going to work on the promised site, and Verily on Monday started taking screening registrations in the Bay Area. Since then, Google decided to delay the release of the coronavirus website for further improvements.
The new Google service will be operational later this week, Google informed< em>The Verge. The company is taking a little more time to expand the feature of the informational site, which will include screening and testing details.
The site will “surface authoritative information for people in the US, including on screening and testing,” Google said, without expanding on its feature. But Google did say it plans to pull information from the WHO and CDC about the pandemic. It’s still too early to call, and things are in very much in flux, but the website doesn’t appear to live up to Trump’s promises. Even so, having Google at the helm of it could be very helpful when it comes to staying on top of accurate, official, information about the COVID-19 outbreak.
Google also told The Verge that information about testing sites will be included on the website as well as other Google properties, including Google Maps and Search.
Moreover, the site will be available in English initially, with a Spanish version to follow after that. The site will then be available to international users as well.
Separately, Verily announced that its limited Bay Area pilot has reached full capacity for the time being.
It’s unclear how many people have registered for Verily’s COVID-19 screening, as the company hasn’t offered any figures. “All appointments require a call-back confirmation to schedule an appointment,” the company told The Verge. “If someone were to fill out the questionnaire overnight, they would go into a queue to be called the next day should they qualify. In these first few days of this pilot, we expect appointment availability to be limited as we stand up operations and that testing capacity will increase in the days to come.”