Facebook has launched a raft of measures to help tackle the coronavirus crisis in recent weeks — its latest is a new interactive map that displays reported county-by-county COVID-19 symptoms from users across the US. The data, obtained via Facebook surveys in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, will be updated throughout the outbreak. The company also says it plans to roll out symptom surveys globally in the coming days, in order to create similar symptom maps for other countries where Facebook operates.
In a post on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the platform is “uniquely suited” to run these surveys because it serves a community of billions of people and can therefore carry out statistically accurate sampling. It’s hoped that the maps will help local governments and public health officials better understand where to allocate resources and, eventually, when it’s safe to start reopening different places.