How To Conduct Symptom Checks To Minimize The Spread Of COVID-19 On Campus

How To Conduct Symptom Checks To Minimize The Spread Of COVID-19 On Campus

Reduce shared surfaces and take daily symptom checks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on campus while keeping in line with health regulations.

After a nationwide reopening, COVID-19 cases are steadily rising, and many schools are already experiencing outbreaks. If these outbreaks persist, local and state governments will issue health requirements overnight and your school will need a plan in place to comply with regulations. 

In response to the initial COVID-19 outbreak, schools put safety measures in place like one-way hallways, requiring masks during breaks, and more. However, the most effective way to stop the spread is by keeping staff and students who have exhibited symptoms from coming to campus. 

But how can schools stay informed about the health status and recent contact history of staff and students hoping to return to campus? There’s an app for that. Software systems can administer daily health screenings where individuals report their symptoms and contact history before they’re approved to come to campus. Additionally, using personal devices for attendance tracking can prevent shared surfaces and reduce the spread of germs.

Self Reporting Symptoms

The daily health screening offered by CourseKey is a series of short questions that ask staff and students whether or not they’ve experienced certain symptoms in the last 14 days or if they’ve been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Based on their responses, the user is presented with a green, yellow, or red pass for the day they want to go on site. Only individuals with a green pass for the day are allowed on site. A yellow or red pass triggers an automated email to site administrators alerting them of the individual’s status. If an individual with a yellow or red pass still wants to come to campus, they can initiate additional communication through CourseKey to contact a designated COVID-19 site administrator to ask for an exception.

 

By asking staff and students to report their symptoms and risk exposure, schools can stay on top of campus safety without violating anyone’s privacy. Anyone who doesn’t want to complete the daily health screen does not have to, but they will receive a yellow flag and will be required to speak with a school’s COVID-19 site administrator before coming to campus.

Administrative Oversight

Not only does this system help identify who is allowed on campus daily, but it also gives schools a clear picture of who to support as they’re self-isolating and recovering. Schools can ensure that students isolating at home are still receiving valuable education and opportunities for engagement. 

 

They can also check in with those students daily about their health status. Using the first day a student self-reported symptoms and daily health updates, schools can make an informed, responsible decision about when a student can return to campus.

 

Additionally, a daily record of self-reported symptoms creates a documentation trail and timeline showing when symptoms were reported. Schools can alert impacted staff and students that may have come in contact with someone experiencing symptoms.

Minimize shared surfaces with touch-free attendance

Biometric scanners and sign-in sheets all require students to gather in tight quarters and check in/out using shared surfaces. A mobile attendance app that allows students to check in on their devices without crowding together in a line helps reduce the spread of germs while keeping students distant from one another.

A New Reality

Minimizing the risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 on campus is vital to keeping staff and students safe, preventing future campus closures, and keeping up with government health mandates. To ensure the safety of everyone on-ground, schools need to be aware of who could be carrying COVID-19 by documenting health symptoms and asking those with symptoms to isolate themselves while they recover. In California, it’s a requirement that schools document symptoms until 2023. While California has imposed stronger regulations than many states throughout the pandemic, requiring symptom checks and documentation is one way states could react to increased COVID-19 cases. 


Despite vaccinations and other precautions, COVID-19 isn’t going away, which means neither are government mandates surrounding the health of students and staff. While having guidelines and preventative measures in place is certainly helpful in protecting against an outbreak of COVID-19, the most effective way to minimize risk is by asking at-risk staff and students to stay home. By utilizing a daily health screening, schools can stay informed about the health status of their staff and students and make decisions accordingly.

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