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Google Maps to roll out feature to show COVID-19 infection rates

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Google Maps is working on a new layer to the app which will show people the COVID-19 infection rates in local areas to help plan their journey in advance.

Google Maps is set to roll out a feature which tells you the COVID-19 infection rates in local areas.

The new update will make users aware of how the virus is progressing in the different locations so that they can plan ahead before travelling.

There will be the option to add a layer called “COVID-19 info”, which shows the amount of new cases per 100,000 people.

What’s more, it will detail the areas where infections are rising or declining via a colour-coded system, with grey being the lowest, with less than one single case, and dark red signalling 40 or more cases.

Google has used “multiple authoritative sources”, including the New York Times, to source the relevant data, which is available for the 220 countries supported on the app.

It comes after Google Maps added alerts for safe travelling on public transport.

Google announced earlier this year that they will publicly track people’s movements during the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech giant published details of the types of places people are visiting in each county across the UK, and similar data for 130 other countries.

The company announced: “As global communities respond to COVID-19, we’ve heard from public health officials that the same type of aggregated, anonymized insights we use in products such as Google Maps could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.

“These Community Mobility Reports aim to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19.

“The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.”

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