Users of Apple’s Macs, iPhone, iPads, HomePods, Apple Watches, AirPods, and Apple TVs can now ask Siri about COVID-19 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) as Apple has updated Siri to provide meaningful coronavirus responses. Siri now returns answers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, when asked about the virus.
Apple has updated its voice assistant to provide users with a step-by-step questionnaire if they ask variations of, “Hey Siri, do I have the coronavirus?”
Siri will ask users if they’re exhibiting symptoms of the disease, such as fever, dry cough or shortness of breath. Siri will advise people who say they have extreme or life-threatening symptoms to consider calling 911. If users say their symptoms are not extreme or life threatening, Siri instructs people to stay home and avoid contact with other people. It advises them to contact a medical provider if their condition becomes more severe.
It also providers users with a link in the App Store, where they can download telehealth apps and potentially receive virtual consultation.
MacDailyNews Take: Thank you, Apple!
(Note: Apple TV is limited to a simple text referral to the CDC website, but other Siri-capable devices return more useful information.)
MacDailyNews Note: The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects.
The findings affirm the guidance from public health professionals to use precautions similar to those for influenza and other respiratory viruses to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
More info via the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, here.