Google has a new alert for users of Google Maps and Search, urging them to call their doctor when they search for medical-related locations.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
  • Google has started showing alerts on Search and Maps when people search for medical-related locations such as hospitals.
  • The alerts contain the CDC’s advice that people who have, or think they have, COVID-19 to call their healthcare providers before going out to a medical facility. It also links to the CDC’s main COVID-19 website.
  • The CDC says that “people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home.”
  • Google’s alert comes at a time when US hospitals risk being overwhelmed.
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Google is showing people alerts on Google Maps and Search that tells them to call their doctor when they search for medical-related locations.

Google’s alert is based on information from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tapping or clicking on the alert takes you to the CDC’s main COVID-19 site.

Business Insider has asked Google why it started showing the alert, but the company has not yet responded.

At the time of writing, the US has reported 212 coronavirus deaths, and more than 14,400 cases across all 50 states. There are reports that US healthcare system is set to reach its limits, which may be the reason for the alert.

The CDC says that “people who are mildly ill with the COVID-19 virus are able to recover at home,” and that people shouldn’t leave their homes unless it’s to get medical care. The CDC also says to call a healthcare provider before going anywhere.

Oddly, Google’s alert doesn’t appear in other related searches. A search for “cough” or “fever” – two of the main symptoms of the COVID-19 virus – does not prompt Google’s alert, for example.

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