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Google Maps application icon on Apple iPhone X screen. Image Credit: Supplied

Staying away from coronavirus ‘hot zones’ might get much easier soon with Google Maps' new feature.

Google announced on September 23 an update to Google Maps that will bring a new COVID-19 layer to the service to help you better understand the number of cases in a particular area.

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According to Sujoy Banerjee, Product Manager of Google Maps, users will be able to access the data layer through a new top right-hand corner tab called "COVID-19 info."

The feature enables Google Maps users to see a colour-coded map based on the number of cases per 100,000 people, as well as labels that indicate whether numbers are increasing or decreasing at that point in time.

This is how the colour coding works:

- Grey: Less than 1 case

- Yellow: 1 - 10 cases

- Orange: 10 - 20 cases

- Dark orange: 20 - 30 cases

- Red: 30 - 40 cases

- Dark red: 40+ cases

According to American online publisher techcrunch.com, this data will be available in all the 220 countries and territories that Google Maps currently supports.

The data will be available down to the city level, but depends on the numbers and data available about the particular country, as per the report.

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Google uses data from a number of sources, including Johns Hopkins, The New York Times and Wikipedia, which get their information from local and intergovernmental organisations.

Google Search web search engine lists the same sources when a coronavirus-related query is entered.

The new Google Maps feature is set to roll out for Android and iOS phones this week.