New screening app will check Duval County teachers, staff for COVID-19 symptoms

App still in development and could eventually expand for student use, superintendent says

When Duval County schools re-open, teachers and staff will be using a new phone app to check themselves for COVID-19.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new screening method will check Duval County Public Schools staff members for signs of the coronavirus or exposure to a COVID-19 case, Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene told the school board last week.

The application, which was still in development as of June 23, will be installed on employee’s mobile devices and is meant to be used before the employee enters a school building.

Greene told the Duval County School Board during a June workshop that the app will ask a list of questions related to any possible exposure to a case of COVID-19 and about any symptoms or signs of the virus. The system will then issue a response to the employee with what they should do.

The information collected by the app will only be retained for 24 hours, after which the system will purge the data it has collected. Greene said protecting users’ privacy is a priority of this screening app.

The superintendent also said the app may eventually expand schoolwide screening all students, as well. However, district leaders plan to evaluate how the app functions among staff before a decision on expansion is made.

Staff members will begin using the app when the school year begins on Aug. 10.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a similar application in late March.

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.