Yes, there’s an app for that: Apple releases COVID-19 resource

Greetings from Bergen County in New Jersey, where my socially-isolated spirits have been raised by my afternoon session in the garden.

I just spent some time perusing the news for positive news related to the coronavirus crisis, and came across this update from Apple: it has released an app with fact-checked information about the pandemic. Especially relevant for those of us who are frustrated by the misinformation shared by certain commentators who pose as journalists.

I have downloaded same.

The first thing you should know is that this resource was created “in partnership” with the Centers for Disease Control (aka CDC) the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the Federal Emergy Management Agency (aka FEMA) — that means the information includes the latest federal data on what’s going on. 

The app is part screening tool / part news resource. If you’re wondering whether you should be tested, there’s a questionnaire that helps you determine whether that’s necessary — and CDC recommendations what to do next. It doesn’t include information about local testing sites. And there’s a huge disclaimer basically reminding users to consult their doctor and state health resources if they have the described symptoms.

So, why download this thing? If you’re weary of misery surfing for information, the app (and the related web site) gives you one place to look for quick updates. Oh, and you 

One more thing worth mentioning: If you DO submit information into the screening app, it won’t be stored or shared. You also won’t need a subscription to read the news that’s included. Personally, I’m still amazed and disappointed by how many big urban newspapers haven’t waived their subscriptions during this crisis. 

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