HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Thousands of Alabama college students were tested for the virus on the first day of GuideSafe testing across the state.
A negative test result is required before Alabama college stations can return to campus.
But students will need to do more than a test. They must continue to monitor for COVID-19 with regular use of state-led resources.
The contact tracing apps are a HIPPA compliant platform. It does not track you as a person or your specific location. Rather it is a tool for you to report COVID-19 symptoms and any exposure.
“There is an app we must update every day at Auburn,” said incoming Auburn sophomore Brandon Kamil. “We have to check our temperature then report it and if we have any symptoms we can’t go to campus.”
It is called the GuideSafe Health check app, it is a coronavirus assessment tool. Students in the UA system are required to use it to report symptoms at least every three days. “We believe in many ways this is a model for our country but in most of all, we want to provide the best service for our citizens, including our students who are returning to college,” said Dr. Selwyn Vickers, the dean at UAB School of Medicine.
College students also are encouraged to use two more apps as well. The event passport app and the exposure notification app. These apps alert users if they have been in contact with someone with the virus. “We saw what happened when our state and other states relaxed too early what happened,” said Dr. George Netto, the chair of UAB Department of Pathology. “Clearly now we are very worried about the entry of a quarter million students so we all must be extremely vigilant.”
These apps will inform public health and university officials about emerging symptom hot spots before these areas have outbreaks. It also helps university health officials prioritize who might need COVID-19 testing.
We asked if Kamil felt safe returning to campus. “They are taking a lot of precautions and every professor has a backup schedule just in case, a backup syllabus in case something happens. They seem very prepared at Auburn at least,” said Kamil.
Based on your response, the app will assign you to one of three categories: least risk, may be at risk, or greater risk – each with its own instructions on how to proceed to campus.
Regardless how you answer, a report will be sent to the university’s health department.