Google is updating its Maps in light of the coronavirus crisis, and the latest change allows businesses to declare themselves "temporarily closed."
Google is giving the option through its My Business portal. To declare itself closed, a business should go to "Google My Business." Then, the business should select "Info" on the left menu. Next, select "Close this business on Google." Finally, "Mark as temporarily closed" will appear. Select it. Once a business declares itself closed during the COVID-19 outbreak, the new results will appear in Google Maps and on Google's search engine.
Google marshals Maps in coronavirus crisis
Tech giants are at the forefront of educating the public during this global epidemic. Among them is Google, who is using its Maps service to alert customers as to changes in business hours, closings, and, of course, the new temporary closing label. Some days ago, Google gave businesses the option to declare a change in operation hours. Now, in light of worsening conditions, some businesses need to close indefinitely for the time being.
Google just added a COVID-19 warning for Maps users some days ago. When a user searches for a hospital, med clinic, or blood bank, the service tells users to "call a doctor first" before visiting a hospital. The worst thing one can do in the coronavirus crisis is go to a hospital. In hospitals where multiple people are already sick, it's too easy to contract the disease.
The new temporary closing declaration comes as the coronavirus pandemic continues its stretch across the globe. The virus, originally from an animal market in Wuhan, China, has now spread to the US. Over 65,000 people have been infected. Over 600 have died from COVID-19. The disease is spreading in Amazon factories in the US. Washington State has seen a nursing home facility at the center of its disease spread. Schools and some businesses have closed indefinitely.
Temporarily closing business: Best Buy
In the US, favorite retailer Best Buy, originally reducing its hours from 10am-6pm, has now closed its stores. Washington-based Microsoft has closed its retail stores. Samsung has closed its Best Buy experience stores. Outside of these well-known examples, other businesses and companies have closed their stores to prevent the spread of the disease. Some say that the United States Postal Service (USPS) could see its business close in three months if COVID-19 and the social distancing mandate remain in place that long. A new door-shutting policy is now in effect for nail salons, cosmetology salons, and even sweepstakes parlors.
Further temporary closings, shutdowns, and stay-at-home orders
US President Donald Trump says that gatherings should be no greater than ten people. He also says that everyone should wash their hands, practice good social distancing, and work from home as much as possible. Some counties and states in the US are announcing stay-at-home orders that go into effect as early as today and will remain indefinitely.