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Google Maps helps healthcare workers find hotels

The feature will help those workers who want to keep their families safe.
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As healthcare professionals continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic across the US and much of the world, Google is adding a new Maps feature to help those individuals find special accommodations when they're done their daily shifts. Starting today, first responders can use the app to find hotels that have special policies in place to help them by typing in a search term like "hotels for essential workers in New York."  

Another option is to use a less specific phrase like "hotels in New York," and then apply the new "COVID-19 responder rooms" filter Google has added to Maps. The same functionality is also available through the company's search engine. Additionally, both Maps and Google's travel portal will display a notification at the top of the page if you're in an area with hotels that have those policies in place. Once they’ve found a promising lead, healthcare workers can call the hotel directly from Maps or search to find out exactly what they're offering.

Currently, the new feature is only available in the US and UK, but Google plans to roll it out to other countries in the future. The limited rollout likely has to do with the fact the company partnered with hotel chains and trade groups to source the information for the filter, so it may take some time while it hammers out partnerships in other regions. 

As part of its broader COVID-19 response, Google has given healthcare providers the option to add virtual care offerings to their search and Maps profiles and made government coronavirus-related announcements more prominent in search. While this latest feature probably won’t get as much use as its earlier efforts, healthcare professionals who want to keep their families safe from the coronavirus will likely appreciate the gesture all the same.

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