Facebook Releases Maps Showing Where People Are Reporting Coronavirus Symptoms

April 20, 2020
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Facebook just released its first maps of people reporting symptoms of COVID-19.

NBC News reported that the map shows county-by-county data to help track the spread of the coronavirus.

The map will be updated every day, and it will be a tool for health officials to help decide which places throughout the country can be reopened.

Facebook will use information from a voluntary survey to create the maps. The survey has been conducted by Carnegie Mellon University Delphi Research Center, which helps researchers find the coronavirus hot spots earlier.

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, said the goal for this is to give officials an idea of where personal protective equipment and other resources are needed.

"Overall, since experiencing symptoms is a precursor to going to the hospital or becoming more seriously ill, these maps could be an important tool for governments and public health officials to make decisions on how to allocate scarce resources like ventilators and PPE, and eventually when it's safe to start reopening society," Zuckerberg said.

The data does not provide people's specific movements. Facebook plans to start offering these surveys and will be providing reports on the global pandemic.

"I think providing aggregate data to governments and health officials is one of the most important tools tech companies can provide," Zuckerberg said.

Officials hope to use the data to track the virus' spread, a system called "syndromic surveillance."

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