- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Apple added coronavirus testing location sites to its Apple Maps application for all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Apple said it made the feature available on Tuesday, and it was not implemented as part of an update to Apple devices’ operating systems.

As part of the change, Apple Maps users who tap the search bar will notice a “COVID-19 Testing” point of interest listed as a prioritized option alongside others such as groceries, food delivery, pharmacies, hospitals, and urgent care. The “COVID-19 Testing” option appeared as a point of interest on Apple Maps for this reporter on Wednesday morning but did not display on Wednesday afternoon.

The testing-site facilities identified in Apple Maps are provided directly to Apple by the facilities themselves. The testing sites highlighted include a wide variety of health care facilities, such as those at hospitals, clinics, doctors and dentists, pediatricians, OB/GYNs, pharmacies and single-purpose testing locations, among other venues.

Apple is also publishing daily mobility reports that detail mobility trends in cities, regions and countries amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Apple reports result from requests for directions in Apple Maps and users’ movements are categorized in the reports as users’ walking, driving or using other types of transit.

Apple’s website said it does not keep a history of where its users have been. The company’s website said Apple does not have a profile of users’ movements and searches built upon the data collected by Apple Maps, such as search terms, navigation routing and traffic information.

Apple is also collaborating with Google on a coronavirus contact-tracing system that relies on phones’ Bluetooth technology to track Apple and Android users’ potential exposure to coronavirus-infected people. The companies have said the contact-tracing system will require users to opt-in before their exposure is tracked.

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