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Thousands of UArizona students, staff turn to app and program to stay safe from COVID-19

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Posted at 6:33 AM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 09:33:05-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona uses lots of different tools to try and curb the spread of COVID-19 among its community, and now officials say some of those tools are really helping.

Weeks ago, the COVID Watch App and Wildcat WellCheck launched for student and staff use.

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The COVID Watch App anonymously notifies those who have downloaded the app if they've been exposed to COVID-19. The Wildcat WellCheck program allows those who've signed up to asses their health ever single day.

After weeks of being in use, officials say they've been able to gather some data.

Joanna Masel, who works at the University of Arizona and has been working on the COVID Watch App said the only piece of information they have on the app its been downloaded more than 18,000 times.

“The app is completely anonymous, so we don’t know where they are. They could be people staying home all the time and aren’t on campus much, that could be people who are just curious, reporters on the other side of the country, but mostly it is people who are present on the campus of the university," she said.

Masel added university officials know the app is being used by students and staff on campus because some have disclosed that information to campus health.

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“I can confirm that quite a number of these cases are using the app and they have reported their status using the app and that other people have gotten notified. We know that because people show up at campus health and say her the app notified me, I’d like to schedule a test," she said.

David Salafsky, who works with Campus Health Services said there have been about 6,700 people enrolled into the Wellness WellCheck program, however, less than half are checking in on average, everyday.

“Typically we’re averaging about 3,000 people doing the wellcheck very morning before they come to campus," Salafsky said.

The Wildcat WellCheck program can only be used by staff and students at the University of Arizona. You can get more information on how to sign up, here.

For more information on how to download the COVID Watch App, click here.