Virginia Tech releases “Hokie Ready” app to promote safety on campus

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia Tech released the Hokie Ready app for employees and students to access emergency contacts, safety alerts, and a COVID-19 screening tool.

The app allows members of the Hokie community to perform a self-check on their health each day before coming to any Virginia Tech campus or location through a series of questions.

These questions include:

  • Have you traveled internationally or from an area that has seen a concentrated COVID-19 outbreak or a high risk of transmission in the past 14 days?
  • Have you been in close contact (within six feet for more than 15 minutes) with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  •  Are you currently experiencing any of the following symptoms that you cannot attribute to another health condition or activity: Fever (or feeling feverish), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new gastrointestinal symptoms?

The health data will be used to make decisions about Virginia Tech operations as they relate to safety during the pandemic, according to Andrew Marinik, assistant director of Emergency Management. For example, if a growing number of Hokies have COVID-19 symptoms, he says the university may use that information to make adjustments to campus activities.

Kevin Foust, Associate VP of Safety and Security at Virginia Tech, says although it is not mandatory, many on-campus could benefit from using the app.

“It really teaches us as individuals to start to daily monitor our own health.”  

Aiden Brown, a rising senior, was confused when he took the test again and got a different answer than the first tim.

“The first time it said I needed to go to Schiffert Health Center, and then the second time it said I was good to go, so I’m not sure if it’s completely accurate.” 

Brown says he hopes people do use the app — which he says is a painless process — and take heed to any warnings in order to keep others safe.

“It was pretty easy to use it asks you some basic COVID-19 questions.” 

Kevin Williams, another rising senior, was not surprised when he received a yellow warning.

“So I think that I got a yellow light because I just came from Alexandria, Virginia.” 

He says he and his family were social distancing while they were in northern Virginia. Williams also hopes others will take advantage of the app.

“Obviously it’s not going to be the same as a full testing kit, but I think it’s great to just have people, to be thinking about it,” Wiliams stated. 

Rising junior Jarrett Toothman described his experience with the app as, “super easy, it was super self-explanatory, easy to follow.” 

After receiving his green results green, Toothman said, “I’m good, I’m good to go. I’m okay to continue with normal class slash work activities.” 

The app is available for Android and Apple devices.

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