The COVID-19 pandemic really hit the world hard two years ago, and everything was brought to a standstill. Google also introduced a COVID-19 layer on Google Maps that allowed users to track the number of COVID-19 cases in a given area. It also worked with Apple to bring COVID-19 exposure notifications, although it never really took off.
Later, Google Maps also got special features to show if a business has taken COVID-19 precautions to curb the spread of the disease or not. Well, now Google has announced the end of the pandemic by removing the COVID-19 layer from Google Maps.
For a variety of reasons, it is safe to say that the number of COVID-19 cases across the globe have dropped. While Google isn’t officially declaring that the pandemic is over. It is just that there are more efficient ways of knowing anything related to COVID-19 available on the internet or through different mediums than relying on Google Maps.
COVID-19 information will still be available via Google Search, Maps, and other Google products
In fact, an official support page from Google (via SmartDroid) cited ‘declining usage’ as the reason behind the removal of the Google Maps COVID-19 layer. However, Google took away the COVID-19 layer in September this year without any major announcement.
Google says that “As a result of declining usage, the COVID-19 layer is no longer available on Google Maps for mobile and web as of September 2022, but you can still find the latest helpful information about COVID-19, such as variants, vaccination, testing, prevention and more, on Google Search. You’ll also still be able to find places like testing sites and vaccine centers on Maps.”
Vaccine centers and testing sites will still be visible in search results on Google Maps for as long as the need remains. Moreover, Google will continue to provide related information through Google Search, Maps, and other products. Whatever the case may be, all these positives hint that we are nearing the time to breathe freely.