Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected by it will not need special treatment from healthcare professionals and only experience mild/moderate respiratory illness this disease with flu-like symptoms. To be sure about the normal flu instead of COVID, people are searching for COVID-19 testing sites near them.
Despite that, coronavirus is more contagious among certain populations and groups (older people, people with underlying/chronic medical issues). It can cause the development of severe medical illness, especially in people with diabetes, chronic respiratory disease (asthma), cardiovascular disease, or cancer.
As there’s no vaccine against the coronavirus at the moment, the only way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the disease and know how it spreads.
During the epidemic of COVID-19, many online companies, retail groups, pharmacies and labs offer COVID testing to check a person’s status or understand if a person has had and recovered from coronavirus.
Google and Castlight COVID-19 Testing Sites On Google Maps
One of the companies that wishes to make the difference and let people find testing sites easily is Google. They are working on getting data from healthcare merchants and making it easier for customers to find COVID-19 testing sites on Google maps service.
Google team verifies and publishes only checked COVID testing sites and so, in partnership with Castlight they call on healthcare companies and merchants to provide individual and bulk data. Thus, they could place the testing site on Google maps as soon as possible by following the link.
Everyone who wishes to get tested for COVID-19 and is looking for the nearest testing site in his/her area may google for “COVID testing near me”. This request will lead to the special page, where all the available locations will be displayed on the google map:
Google and Castlight have made everything possible to provide as much information as needed, without making it overwhelming. Each location displayed for chosen area has several requirements to consider: appointment requirement, referral (lab order) requirement, and special requirement for patients.
The first one shows if a patient may just walk-in to the testing site without prior appointment set up. If referral is required, a patient needs to visit a doctor first to obtain a lab order (lab referral) prior to the visit.
The last parameter shows if everybody can use the services of the specific location, or certain population groups. It may be limited only for people who live in nearby area, specific age range, patients with symptoms etc.
As the vaccine is still not developed and knowing your status is not enough to protect people around, the best option at the moment is to follow the CDC guidelines for COVID-19.
It will help to flatten the curve and avoid the threshold of hospital capacity at the moment, which should save a lot of lives in combination with some other factors.
With the new option from Google and Castlight, it is easier to check the status and choose the right strategy to keep yourself safe. From healthcare companies’ perspective, now it is easier to share COVID testing information with people, by simply submitting the information about testing locations.