Alexa can tell you what to do if you think you have COVID-19

You can also schedule cash and blood donations, stream Bandsintown concerts and more.

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Brett Putman / Engadget
Brett Putman / Engadget

Amazon is joining Alphabet's Verily and Apple's Siri in offering a COVID-19 screening tool. If you're in the US, you can now ask your Alexa devices to assess your risk level for the disease, as well as what to do if you think you have COVID-19. Alexa will ask you a series of questions and provide Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance based on your risk factors and symptoms.

The service is also available in Japan, where Alexa provides Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare guidance. And if you're in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, the UK and the US, you can ask Alexa to sing a song for 20 seconds, as a way to time how long you wash your hands. Google introduced a similar feature last week.

Alexa can answer tens of thousands of other questions related to the coronavirus, and Amazon is working to bring accurate, timely information from official government and news sources to its devices. You can also make cash donations or schedule blood donations ("Alexa, open Red Cross Blood") via the voice assistant, and with the Twitch app on Fire TV and Echo, you can stream live concerts from Bandsintown.

As the virus and concerns spreads, tech companies are racing to help people find accurate information and ways to support each other. WhatsApp now has a World Health Organization chatbot, and Facebook is sharing its Messenger developers with government organizations to help them develop similar tools.

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