March 23

As the novel coronavirus has spread globally, it’s vital that the right information to be made available to everyone. In its continued efforts, today Google has added a new “coronavirus tips” shortcut to Assistant, as well as another shortcut for finding the latest news on the subject.

In case you’ve missed it, Google has been heavily promoting a campaign called “Do the Five” through its homepage and push notifications. This reminds people to wash their hands properly, not touch their faces, cough into their elbows, stay socially distant, and stay home as much as possible.

Now Google is also pushing these tips through Google Assistant. Rolling out now, Google Assistant on Android is showing a “coronavirus tips” shortcut which, when pressed, launches Google’s “Do the Five” PSA within Google Assistant, along with showing some of the latest headlines regarding the outbreak as users scroll down the feed.

Along with that, Google is also adding a new shortcut to Google Discover — the news feed that appears in the Google app and also on the left-most homescreen of many Android devices — which shows the latest news about the outbreak. This shortcut appears at the very top of the feed all of the time and, from what we can tell, shows up regardless of whether or not you’ve been previously searching for information about the virus.

Hopefully, both of these handy little shortcuts will help spread the needed information to more people. Notably, Apple also recently updated Siri to help those worried they may have contracted the virus to potentially self-diagnose based on their symptoms. It would be great if Google did the same thing with Assistant.

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