Self-assessing symptoms at the University Central Florida

Students, staff and faculty at the University Central Florida will assess themselves for COVID symptoms with a new self-checker built into the school’s UCF Mobile app.

Officials focused on the mobile app because most people now check their smartphones during their morning routines, says Ryan Seilhamer, the assistant director of mobile strategy and innovation.

“We’ve got to keep everything really, really positive about changing culture,” Seilhamer says. “We talk about wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands, and using the self-checker is now part of the message to keep us safe.”

Students are asked to use the app on a volunteer basis. Faculty and staff have been required to log into the self-checker since July.

More from UB: Here’s one way to move students in efficiently during COVID

Users who report symptoms or an exposure, are directed by health officials or their work supervisors to get a COVID test. To allay privacy concerns, the self-checker will not store data on symptoms reported.

All users have been asked to allow location-based push notifications that, for example, will alert students and staff that certain buildings now have one-way entrances and exits.

“Students are more likely to grant those permissions to universities they trust rather than Starbucks or Uber,” Seilhamer says.

The app does not store location information, however.

Read the other stories in our Campus Life During COVID series: 

  1. ‘The semester is in their hands’ at the University of New Haven
  2. Foodservice flexibility at the University of Rochester
  3. Research recovers by mid-summer
  4. Digital literacy during COVID
  5. 5 snapshots of campus life during the COVID-era


Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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