University recommends COVID-19 symptom checking app

Truman State University is recommending that all students and faculty use the #CampusClear application for the fall semester to help track COVID-19 symptoms.

The #CampusClear app is a free application on smartphones. The main purpose of the app is to help students and faculty check themselves for  COVID-19 symptoms through a simple daily self-screening.

#CampusClear was designed in part by Creighton University and Stony Brook University, with the primary goal of the app being for campus use. According to the developer of the app, over 1,000 universities across the country are using this app.

To do the daily self-screening, open #CampusClear everyday and select the symptoms you have. Some of the many options include shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat or no symptoms. The response from the app depends on whether or not COVID-19 symptoms are present. If no symptoms are present, the app will say “You are good to go!” If symptoms are detected, answers will range from “please stay at home” to “please seek medical attention.”

Donna Liss, chief information officer for information technology services, said that the #CampusClear app was chosen for several reasons. The app collects as little information on students as possible and the data remains encrypted. Only a few people on campus can view the decrypted data. Those people include Liss, professor of epidemiology Nancy Daley-Moore and Brenda Higgins, associate vice president for student health and wellness.

Liss said the customization was another factor that led Truman to selecting this app. 

“We can add symptoms, and we have the ability to decide what to do given the symptoms presented,” Liss said. “This is important because as we continue to gather more information about the virus, we need to be able to change our recommendations if needed.” 

Higgins said the app is a highly recommended way for students to keep track of their symptoms. It is not required that students use this app specifically, but students do have to monitor themselves in some manner. Higgins said that the app is not monitored constantly, instead being viewed more as a tool that can allow anyone on campus to check for daily symptoms.