Google Maps is ditching its COVID-19 case tracking layer

And that’s how Google ended the pandemic


At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Google Maps introduced a new layer that allows users to track the current number of COVID-19 cases as well as the trend in a given area. Since then, special checkboxes have been added for businesses that have taken precautions against the spread of disease. Nowadays, the visibility of the virus has faded for various reasons. Highlight another reason: Google Maps has removed the COVID-19 filter.

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Google actually took down the diaper in September (via 9to5Google) — indicating not only how many people were using it at the time, but how many people were actually using it during the pandemic — noting that people won access to vaccines and other resources, “their information needs have also evolved.”

Vaccination clinics and testing sites will continue to appear in search results on Maps as long as the need remains.

Of course, Google can’t declare the pandemic officially over and neither can governments. The number of cases may have fallen in part thanks to the distribution of vaccines, but health authorities have also redefined the conditions for acquiring COVID-19 cases and also reduced the frequency with which they report them.

All this to say that society as a whole is not out of the woods yet and some people may never be able to shake it off, whether they have been victims of COVID or are immunocompromised enough to be excluded from participation in many spaces. Keep an eye on this space.

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