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

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, many schools are putting measures in place like one-way hallways, social distancing in cafeterias, requiring masks during breaks, and more. But the most effective way to stop the spread is by keeping staff and students who have exhibited symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone who has, from coming to campus. 

Minimizing the risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 is vital to keeping staff and students safe and preventing future campus closures. To ensure the safety of everyone returning to in person programs, schools will need to be aware of who could be carrying COVID-19 and ask them to isolate themselves while they recover.

You might be wondering — how can schools stay informed about the health status and recent contact history of staff and students hoping to return to campus? They can stay informed by using software systems to administer daily health screenings where individuals report their symptoms and contact history before they’re approved to come to campus.

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 on a daily basis, but it also gives schools a clear picture of who to support as they’re self-isolating and recovering. Schools can make sure that students isolating at home are still receiving valuable education and opportunities for engagement. 

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

Additionally, by having a daily record of self-reported symptoms, schools will also create a documentation trail and timeline of data that can show exactly when symptoms were reported to alert impacted staff and students that may have come in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms.

A New Reality

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 staff and students who could have and spread the virus 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.

Although schools are looking to open back up as quickly as possible, COVID-19 will be a threat for the foreseeable future until there is a widely-used vaccine or herd immunity. Until then, schools will need a way to monitor on a daily basis who is coming to campus and what their health status is to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

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