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U of M employees to be asked to track COVID-19 symptoms using app

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Students walk on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus (file photo)

University of Michigan faculty and staff will soon be asked to use an app to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

Dr. Robert Ernst is the executive director of the University Health Service.

He says the app, called ResponsiBLUE, will be available in the app store in the coming days. 

Dr. Ernst says monitoring symptoms is going to be important, since testing everyone on campus for the coronavirus isn’t feasible.

“It’s not all about testing. It’s about daily symptom checking, with the ResponsiBLUE health checker every day, so we’re going to socialize that as another part of our surveillance strategy,” he says.

He says data from the app will be important in contact tracing efforts, when someone tests positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Ernst says the app is especially important for employees coming to campus, but it’s a good habit for all employees to get into, even if they’re still working from home.

U of M isn’t the only school asking employees to monitor their symptoms. Oakland University is "highly encouraging" everyone coming to campus on a regular basis, students and faculty alike, to use wearable technology called Bio Button. It monitors temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported the health tracking app was called "Responsive Blue." That is not correct. It is called "ResponsiBLUE."

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Caroline is a third year history major at the University of Michigan. She also works at The Michigan Daily, where she has been a copy editor and an opinion columnist. When she’s not at work, you can find her down at Argo Pond as a coxswain for the Michigan men’s rowing team. Caroline loves swimming, going for walks, being outdoors, cooking, trivia, and spending time with her two-year-old cat, Pepper.
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