Google Maps will alert users to any coronavirus-led changes made by businesses

Google Maps will alert users to any coronavirus-led changes made by businesses
It seems that just this week, Americans started to finally understand that they are in the midst of a very dangerous battle with the COVID-19 virus. Perhaps the first moment that many Americans realized that this was not a hoax was on Wednesday when the NBA suspended the rest of the 2019-2020 season. That was followed by suspensions of the NHL, MLB, and MLS schedules; Broadway has now gone dark until the middle of April.

Needless to say (but we will anyway), many restaurants and businesses are closing. If you're not sure which eateries and stores have made changes to their hours or have incorporated other changes because of coronavirus, Google Maps can now help you out. According to the Google My Business Profile support page, business owners are being asked to update their profiles to list these changes. For example, retail businesses with more than one location can list the best phone number that consumers can call to get in touch with someone.

Businesses can also create a post. These are available for a local business that "serves customers at a particular location or within a designated service area" and can communicate any coronavirus-related changes about the business directly to customers.

Google does warn business owners that "We may review your changes for quality before publishing them, so the changes may not immediately be available on Google Search and Maps." But when they do finally appear on Google Maps, users will get to see exactly which businesses have made changes to their operating hours and more because of the coronavirus. As Google states, "If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers. For example, change your hours of operation if you’re closing early, or add more details to your description. The updates will show on your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps."

We'd expect these coronavirus-based changes to show up on both the Android and iOS versions of Google Maps. You can install the latter on your iOS phone from the App Store. If you have an Android device, Google Maps can be installed from the Google Play Store.

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