If you’re feeling under the weather and worried that you have COVID-19, you can now ask Alexa to assess your risk level and answer questions about the ongoing pandemic.
Just ask, “Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19,” or “Alexa, what is my risk of getting coronavirus,” and Alexa will ask you a series of questions that can help determine whether it’s likely you’ve been exposed to the virus.
I gave it a quick try myself, and (following a quick preamble that Alexa’s advice “is not a substitute for professional medical attention” and that it shouldn’t be used for children under two years old) Alexa started quizzing me, asking questions such as “Do you feel sick?” (no), “Do you live with someone who has or is believed to have COVID-19?” (no), and “In the last 14 days, have you had close contact within about six feet with someone who has or is believed to have COVID-19?” (don’t think so).
Once the questions were over, Alexa said that according to CDC guidelines, it’s “unlikely you have the virus,” and then offered some tips on how to avoid exposure (wash your hands, stop touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes with tissue, disinfecting frequently touched items, and so on).
Amazon notes that for now, you must be in the U.S. or Japan to ask Alexa whether you may have been exposed to COVID-19. While Alexa users in the U.S. will get information, tips and guidance from the CDC, users in Japan will hear recommendations from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.
If you’re in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, or the U.S., you can also ask Alexa to sing a song for 20 seconds while you wash your hands, similar to Google Assistant’s new ability to play a hand-washing tune (although Assistant’s song is 40 seconds rather than just 20).
Finally, you can now ask Alexa specific questions about COVID-19 (“Alexa, what are the symptoms of coronavirus?”), or ask Alexa on your Echo Show or Fire TV to show you official videos from the CDC.