Contact tracing is an important tool for slowing the spread of COVID-19 infection and has been employed by a number of countries that have had success in curtailing the pandemic. Due to the sheer logistics involved in contact tracing as well as privacy concerns, the concept of app-based contact tracing has recently been gaining favor with research groups. Singapore's health ministry developed and deployed the first such app, TraceTogether, in March.
Apple has added more data to its special page titled Apple Maps Mobility Trends Reports. The tool was developed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Anonymous data aggregated from Apple Maps can be displayed for hundreds of countries, states, cities, and regions. This provides insight into how people are responding to stay at home orders and reopening plans in your local area.
Most Apple stores around the world have been closed for two months due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on local health data and government guidance in effect, Apple is selectively opening stores to ensure the safety of its customers and employees. For example, Apple stores have reopened in a few countries such as China, Australia, and Germany.
Apple Maps features a section dedicated to COVID-19 testing centers. Hospitals and testing facilities can add their data to Apple Maps using a special registration page. Anyone looking for a COVID-19 test in the United States can see a list of nearby options in Apple Maps on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
The upcoming release of iOS 13.5 includes a COVID-19 exposure logging system that is designed to protect user privacy. The system has been developed thanks to a previously announced partnership between Apple and Google, bringing anonymous exposure tracking to iOS and Android devices.