Increased app, mask usage better protects us all

by Karen Burbach, UNMC strategic communications | November 03, 2020

Image with file name: COVID081720.jpg

We know COVID-19 fatigue is real.

We also know masks and social distancing work and reduce the risk of transmission to our families and our community.

And, we know that as cases of COVID-19 rise across the state, we must remain vigilant.

Not long ago, we asked all of you -- faculty, staff and students -- to self-screen daily using the 1-Check UNMC app -- regardless of whether you were on campus or working/learning remotely.

Boy, did you respond.

We saw an immediate five-fold increase in app usage. In the days following, that tapered, yet remained at a high level, and we thank you.

We also challenge you to set, and sustain, record levels of use this fall and winter.

"To maintain in-person learning, we must continue to mask up, social distance and use the 1-Check UNMC app," said Ted Cieslak, MD, interim executive director for health security at UNMC. "Thus far, the majority of COVID-19 cases reported at UNMC have been acquired within the community and not on campus, showing that these basic steps work."

Each time you use the self-screening app -- it takes mere seconds -- you help us monitor the COVID-19 health risk in our community. The aggregate data allows the UNMC Office of Health Security to identify health trends based on the types of symptoms that are being reported and make plans that best support campus health and well-being.

It also helps you stay better attuned to any changes in your own health, and protect those around you. And, speaking of being attuned to your own health -- we realize that many of the early signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are non-specific. We also realize that symptoms such as headache and fatigue are a fact of life among those of us in stressful jobs and academic programs. With this in mind, note that the app asks about new symptoms (in other words, those that aren't typical for you). Remember, our goal in fostering app use is to keep you, your loved ones, and our campus safe. It's not to deny access to campus to those with symptoms not likely due to COVID-19.

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