Campus Safety Requires Contact Tracing

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There’s been a lot of discussion about contact tracing as a means of reducing the spread of COVID-19 as schools look to re-open campuses for the fall semester.  Quite simply, if you’ve got tens of thousands of students living on a campus, even if they follow safety protocols, the odds that nobody will contract the virus are slim, at best.  So, despite concerns that some people have the contact tracing apps, they may be the best way to limit spread on college and university campuses while giving students an on-campus experience.

READY Education already has a campus community and communications solution in use at more than 350 institutions that fosters engagement within schools.  The app provides an easy way to deliver academic and other information to students and faculty, and integrates with student schedules and course information and assignments to keep all information in one place.  It also provides access to campus activities and help drive interaction between students, faculty, and staff to deepen relationships and enhance the on-campus experience for students, in and out of the classroom.

In light of the challenges associated with keeping entire campuses safe during the pandemic, READY Education has added READY Contact Trace, a contact tracing app to help schools manage COVID-19 cases and outbreaks on campuses.

Through the app, daily pre-screening provides health passes to clear students, staff and faculty heading to campus and to classes, and the Personal Symptom Tracker supports individual health accountability for potentially infected students.

For the contact tracing to work, students scan QR codes across their campuses, though all health data is kept anonymous through the use of private tokens.  Students are able to opt in or out at any time, but the company hopes the app will see very high usage rates – like its READY Education app, which it says has a 90% adoption rate. 

“From extensive experience working with our partners to provide apps that students love, we knew that READY Contact Trace needed to combine end-to-end anonymity for users with the ability for staff to automate the contact tracing process.”

Gary Fortier, CEO, READY Education

After potential exposures, notifications can be sent to individuals notify them and prevent the spread of the virus. 

Designated support staff and school officials can access detailed case tracking tools and easily identify campus hot spots in the Health and Safety Dashboard, so they can take appropriate measures to reduce risk in those areas.

As with any contact tracing app, the biggest requirement is adoption, but with the understanding their information is secure and opting in will help prevent a major outbreak that could cause students to be sent home to a virtual learning environment, the hope is that adoption rates will be high.  Of course, the other option is to require it to be allowed on campus.