New app to help university students stay healthy on campus this fall

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The higher education program management company Terra Dotta has announced a new app to help students comply with their universities’ guidelines when they return to campus this fall.

For students resuming in-person classes, many universities will require they follow guidelines, including respecting social distancing requirements or wearing face masks during class, according to Terra Dotta CEO Anthony Rotoli. This new mobile app will allow institutions to notify students of such policies, he told EdScoop. The app combines technology designed by Terra Dotta, which allows students to view university policies through a mobile platform, with health safety guidelines provided by the Yale School of Medicine and Philadelphia-based law firm White and Williams LLP.

“[Students] can go through those checklists and they can go through any updates or notifications,” Rotoli said.

Universities are able to publish the required documents students must sign off on before their return to campus though the app.

The technology will also provide digital confirmation to institutions that each student has read and understood the content of the guidelines, as well as support in-app updates for continuous communication with students on health resources or potential health risks.

Students will be able to find contact information for campus health resources though the app, access their university’s specific policies and requirements, receive health alerts from their school and be notified of any COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

The app also has contact-tracing capabilities to alert students potential exposure to the virus, Rotoli said.

“The school can actually notify [students] if there’s maybe a hot spot or something that’s going on,” he said.

By monitoring the location of students on campus, should an outbreak occur at a university, the app will alert students of potential exposure to COVID-19 and notify them of areas on campus where the disease is known to have been in order to keep them safe.

This technology will be essential to support universities resuming in-person classes and on-campus activities, Rotoli said.

“It’s a process that [institutions] need to plan very seriously around,” he said. “And I think it’s critically important to continue to listen to them, just to see how we can serve them best as they try to bring everybody back to campus.”

And since each institution will have its own requirements and resources for students, the app’s content will be able to be customized to address the specific needs of students on campus, Rotoli said.

“There is not one silver bullet, one size fits all that’s going to kind of solve this for [colleges] as they bring people back,” he said.

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