MSSU rolls out self-assessment app to help with contact tracing this fall

Officials hope it will help students be more conscious of their decisions on campus.
Campus Clear Applicaiton

JOPLIN, Mo. – When student-athletes at Missouri Southern State University are able to get back to the game, there’s going to be a lot of changes.

“We kind of have to watch how we do what we do,” says Head Athletic Trainer Mike Barlow.

Barlow says they’re following all the CDC guidelines like cleaning surfaces, sanitizing, and even wearing masks. But now, they’ll have to start logging how they feel every day before they hit the field or the gym.

“Over the summer, we did that when they came in the door. So, instead of us doing that every day for every single athlete, our athletes are gonna be required to do that for themselves basically,” says Barlow.

The university has just rolled out support for the mobile app Campus Clear as part of their prep for the fall semester.

“We want to make sure that everyone knows we all play a roll in keeping each other safe,” says V.P. of Student Affairs Darren Fullerton.

Officials say the app is simple to use and only takes a few seconds. Once you get logged in, you just enter if you have symptoms, select what they are, and then the app will say whether or not you are clear to be on campus.

If you are having symptoms and the app doesn’t clear you, it will direct you to the Willcoxon Health Center, or your healthcare provider for follow up. Officials say it doesn’t use GPS to track locations, and doesn’t collect personal information. But it does send a notification to the health center, who will use some information from the app in conjunction with student information that’s on file to streamline the contact tracing process.

“So, okay, Don was in class Monday and Wednesday, from 9 to 10 or from 12 to 1. Or he’s in the dorms, or went to this building,” says Chief Information Officer Don Mihulka. “And so it really helps I think the health center minimize that workload.”

Students, aside from student-athletes, won’t be required to use the application. But the university is encouraging them to.

“If there is a potential exposure somewhere on campus if they’re not using the app and they’re not assessing themselves, then it makes it harder. We have to cast a wider net of those potential exposures,” explains Fullerton. “So instead of knowing the students that were in close proximity to that particular student who may have had an exposure, the entire class may have to be contacted if we don’t have information on the app.”

The university is currently working on rolling out a website version of the application.

Classes start on August 17th.

If you want to learn more about the university’s reopening plan, follow this link: https://emergency.mssu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/MSSU_ReturnToCampus-Fall-2020-v1-13.pdf?fbclid=IwAR169UhW5tfe6HW4Oj1KRLhnoBzGEOQ_9_iEKppMqGhUzMBqao_GFa4V2Ko