Sneak peek at screening app that will check Duval County teachers, staff for COVID-19 symptoms

Application is meant to get employees back into schools as quickly, safely as possible

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A daily wellness check is going to become as common as taking attendance for teachers and staff at Duval County schools come fall.

News4Jax got a first look at a new screening application that will check Duval County Public Schools staff members for signs of the coronavirus or exposure to a COVID-19 case.

“The idea is to just make things fast. You’ve got a lot of people that you have to get into work every day. You want to speed up the process whenever possible,” said DCPS chief information officer Jim Culbert, one of the creators of the Wellness Web application.

Culbert gave a sneak peek into what to expect.

“We’re starting out with employees only, so employees only to start out with this application. Basically, they can use it as an application on their phone or they can log onto any websites with their standard DCPS username and password, and then it’s going to come up and ask them a series of questions. The questions are going to be: Have you been in contact with anybody that has (been) COVID positive for the last 14 days? We ask them if you’ve had contact with someone that has been diagnosed with COVID for the last 14 days, ask a series of questions about if they’re having any symptoms. If they answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then what the system does is it notifies their supervisor and then it advises the employee of what they should actually do,” Culbert said.

“If they pass it all, it actually comes up -- and every day is going to be a different color or a different picture. We really haven’t decided how we’re going to fully do that. But then, basically, the idea is that you walk into the building, you hold up your phone, and it’s got the picture of the day or the color of the day, and they go, ‘Oh, OK. You passed your screening for that particular day.‘”

Privacy is always a major concern when dealing with sensitive health information, but Culbert said there’s no reason to worry.

“We are not going to maintain any of the data, so we’re going to shoot the emails out to the supervisor. But beyond that, we are going to wipe everything out of the application each and every day,” Culbert said.

The app is simple enough for students to use. But, for right now, it’s meant to get employees back into schools as quickly and safely as possible.

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

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