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Apple updated Siri to help people who ask if they have coronavirus

Siri appears to have been updated to help users who ask if they have COVID-19.

Kevin Stankiewicz

iPhone users who are wondering whether they have COVID-19 can now turn to Siri. 

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?” 

The update appears to have been made on Saturday, when users first started noticing it. 

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. 

The answers are from the U.S. Public Health Service, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Apple.  

The service is intended for users in the United States. It is not known if, or when, the service will be expanded internationally. 

An Apple spokesperson did not share further information on the changes. 

Apple is not the only tech giant who has mobilized its resources to help health officials respond to the global pandemic, which has now sickened more than 300,000 people across the world. 

Facebook said earlier this week it planned to launch a coronavirus information center that will appear alongside users’ news feed. It encourages people to take social distancing seriously and also has a “request or offer help” page. 

Google’s much-anticipated website dedicated to providing information about COVID-19 debuted on Friday. 

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