KEY POINTS

  • Apple Maps now shows COVID-19 testing sites
  • This comes weeks after Apple starting collecting data on testing sites
  • The service covers all 50 states and Puerto Rico

A few weeks after Apple started the collection of information regarding testing centers, the Apple Maps app is now able to display the location of COVID-19 testing sites across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

People living in any state in the U.S., as well as those living in Puerto Rico, can now use Apple Maps to look for a COVID-19 testing site whenever they need to be checked for the virus, Engadget noted. Apple's navigation app can also be used to locate hospitals, urgent care clinics and pharmacies that can cater to people who are concerned if they are infected with the virus or know someone who is.

Apple Maps now displays testing sites under a new search category called “COVID-19 Testing.” The testing facilities are prioritized just like how the app prioritizes healthcare facilities and groceries.

Those looking for testing sites using the app will be able to locate registered locations, and will also be provided with the information they need before going there, such as requirements for appointments and referrals.

A nurse awaits his next patient at a mobile COVID-19 testing station in a public school parking area in Compton, California A nurse awaits his next patient at a mobile COVID-19 testing station in a public school parking area in Compton, California Photo: AFP / Robyn Beck

Site Registration

COVID-19 testing sites that haven't registered themselves in Apple's database should proceed to Apple's Business Register site for COVID-19 listings. There, interested parties will be required to download a template where they will include all necessary information relevant to the testing site, then send the file back to Apple for verification and and approval.

Testing sites will be required to provide information that Apple can display in Apple Maps. The information includes name of the testing center, its complete address, its contact details (including country codes and phone numbers), the URL to its website, its category (whether a laboratory, hospital, diagnostic center), schedules, type of testing location and so on.

Apple said at the time of data collection that it cannot provide exact estimates as to when it will be able to display testing site location data in Apple Maps. It did assure interested parties, however, that it is “working to verify and add as many testing locations as we can, as quickly as possible.”

This is but one of the things Apple has done and is doing to help the public deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, along with releasing instructions on how to make face shields.