We are excited to announce our first virtual event! On September 23rd, we will be hosting a free webinar to discuss how South Texas College of Law Houston implemented ReturnSafe to keep their school open and safe. Register below!
UPCOMING: Case Study Webinar
Join us on September 23rd to learn how South Texas College of Law Houston is utilizing ReturnSafe to provide daily health screening and digital contact tracing to ensure student, faculty, and staff safety amidst COVID-19. Register here
3 Return to Work Plans From Industry Leaders
Businesses are implementing new health and safety measures to address the pandemic. These organizations crafted reopening plans specific to the needs of their industry. Read more
How Will You Meet The CDC Guidelines For Returning To Work?
How is your solution meeting the CDC’s key reopening criteria? Our solution can help you check their boxes! Read more
Why Your Business Needs a Contact Tracing Application
What steps is your organization taking to prevent an outbreak? Let us help you create a plan to stop COVID-19 transmission in its tracks. Read more
Are you looking for screening and contact tracing tools for your organization? Book a demo with someone on our team to try our tools! Learn how it works.
Schools were in some ways fortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States fairly close to the end of the school year giving them the summer to figure out how to bring students back in the Fall. Faced with many different requirements from their cities, counties, states and from the federal government, educators and administrators recognized the complexity of the situation they were in. And now with the school year imminent, it is clear that technology and automated processes are needed to alleviate some of the strain the necessary symptom screening and contact tracing would put on school staff. Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, in Houston, TX chose ReturnSafe to assist in their mission of making it safer and easier for their students, faculty and staff to return to school this semester.
We recently spoke with John Fahy, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory on why his team chose ReturnSafe as their technology partner to automate their return to school process and to make their campus safe for in-person learning once again.
The Need for a Digital Solution for Managing the COVID-19 Threat
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory recently re-opened for the Fall semester, remotely. However, everyone is eager to get back to campus as soon as they can. “We know that our on-campus experience is what makes us such an attractive choice for our students and families, which is what created this urgency around finding a technological solution for the current situation. Our community wants to get back on campus,” said Fahy. “We want to reopen carefully, with the most innovative tools available to us.”
Why Schools Need Contact Tracing
Typically, Strake Jesuit has over 1,300 students and about 200 faculty and staff on campus. An academic community is a complex beast to deal with during a pandemic, as what is an isolated community while on campus, represents a large cross section of people once they leave. Strake’s student community interacts with siblings who attend other schools, parents who are essential workers, family members of staff who are essential workers, and so on, so tracking the movements of this community throughout the school day was going to be crucial to stopping an outbreak. “Without an automated solution this would be quite challenging for our staff,” said Fahy. “And of course, what’s compounding this is that the classroom experience involves spending considerable amounts of time in one place amongst other people.” Contact tracing on a campus is critical due to these two key factors.
Why Strake Jesuit Chose ReturnSafe
“We feel a personal commitment to making our school safer so that we can return to our campus and ReturnSafe is helping us open sooner and more safely for our students.”
John Fahy, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
John and his team created a COVID-19 committee, which consisted of faculty, staff and parents. Their discussions began around how to implement the many guidelines they were provided by federal, state and local officials so that they could reopen for the new school year. And when they arrived at the concept of digitally assisted contact tracing they looped in their IT team as well.
“What really caught our attention during the evaluation process was that we could implement ReturnSafe’s contact tracing solution on our school-issued iPads, which are given to all students. This is a very simple and cost-effective method for us to rollout ReturnSafe to our community, which is also multiplying our school’s ability to contact trace, making our COVID-19 response more accurate and easier to implement,” said Fahy.
Return to School Process
Strake Jesuit is hoping to return to campus in a few weeks and they know that their re-entry is going to begin with a hybrid model where a portion of students will be onsite and the remainder will be at home. However, the team has already begun symptom screening and manually contact tracing for the faculty and staff that are on campus already. But there was always a concern that they would not be able to continue this methodical approach when they needed to scale up to their full student population. But they are now confident that they will be able to maintain the same level of safety standards, even with everyone on campus, thanks to ReturnSafe. “Having ReturnSafe on our side, the scale-up process looks a lot more manageable for us and we think we will be able to open sooner and safer,” said Fahy.
Getting Started with ReturnSafe
“Our onboarding process has been so smooth with ReturnSafe. Our questions have always been answered quickly and the team has been more than happy to jump on calls with us to support us throughout the onboarding experience and now through the rollout,” said Fahy. The ReturnSafe team knows that these are challenging times for our customers, no matter the industry, but particularly so in education. It is important to us that each and every customer gets the guidance and assistance that they need.
As educators and community leaders, the team at Strake Jesuit are committed to making their school safe for their students, faculty and staff and they are all motivated by the desire to return to in-person classes and activities once again. With ReturnSafe’s daily symptom tracking and contact tracing tools we are helping them to do just that. For more information on how our solution can help your school do the same, book a demo with our team today.
The following post summarizes key findings from the article ‘Impact of delays on effectiveness of contact tracing strategies for COVID-19: a modeling study’ published by The Lancet Public Health. The piece is written by Dr. Mirjam E Kretzschmar, Dr. Ganna Rozhnova, Dr. Martin C J Bootsma, Dr. Michiel van Boven, Dr. Janneke H H M van de Wijgert, and Dr. Marc J M Bonten. Read on to explore the importance of a contact tracing solution in the effectiveness of containing the spread of COVID-19.
The article explored the impact of delays in tracing and testing to effective contact tracing. Additionally, it examined and compared the effectiveness of manual contact tracing and mobile app-based contact tracing.
You do not want a delay in COVID-19 testing
It is important to minimize the time between symptom onset and receiving a positive test result in order to prevent further infections. The article asserts that minimizing testing delay is crucial to improving contact tracing effectiveness, assuming immediate isolation following a test result. Our daily screening application will prompt employees to stay at home and see a doctor immediately after they report COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, users can directly report positive test results within the application to notify administrators.
You do not want a delay in contact tracing
Decreasing the amount of time it takes to trace contacts is incredibly important to reducing overall COVID-19 transmission. The article found that shortening this time interval boosted the efficacy of contact tracing. In the study, they assumed the person immediately sought testing and then isolated, if positive. Our contact tracing application allows users to log who they’ve been in contact with. Additionally, through our BioSecurity Portal, administrators can see who a positive case has been in contact with, automatically via Bluetooth tracking and can then notify those who were potentially exposed.
App-Based Contact Tracing vs Manual Contact Tracing
Overall, they found mobile app-based contact tracing to be more effective than conventional contact tracing because of the application’s quick response capabilities. One interesting case they did not study in this piece was a hybrid approach with conventional and app-based contact tracing systems. ReturnSafe’s solution provides you with an app-based solution. However, through our Partnership with TaskUs, you also have access to manual tracing options. With our solution, your administrators have all the tools they need to effectively control and contain the COVID-19 outbreak and keep employees safe.
What factors may negatively impact contact tracing?
The article also identified hindrances to effective contact tracing. Amongst these were a significant number of undiagnosed or asymptomatic cases and untraceable contacts.
How can you reduce the impact of these factors?
App-based screening and contact tracing solutions can increase the number of traceable contacts and diagnosed cases. However, to do this, there must be substantial participation, application acceptance, and sustained usage. What does that mean? Your employees should feel the application is built for their safety to encourage user participation. Our solution is crafted by experts in UX design and app development to optimize the users experience. How do you know if your application is widely accepted? Through our BioSecurity Portal administrators can directly monitor screening compliance.
Our goal is to empower the employees and the organization to stay safe. So we created features that allow users and administrators to maximize the effectiveness of contact tracing. Every measure your organization takes to prevent infection will lower the overall number of cases and contain the outbreak.
So, let’s start now! Book a demo to learn more about how our solution can protect your organization to combat COVID-19.
When looking for a reopening solution for your organization, you need to know how it will meet CDC guidelines for returning to work. The key criterion for such organizations are outlined in the CDC’s ‘Restart Readiness Checklist’. Let’s see how our solution can help you tick those boxes.
CDC Guidelines For Returning To Work
Monitor federal, state, and local public health communications about COVID-19
In order to stay ahead of COVID-19, you need access to up to date federal, state, and local COVID-19 information and guidelines. Our experts are constantly monitoring the situation and we will ensure that you are in compliance with all necessary guidelines.
Ensure workers have access to current information
Keeping your employees informed gives them peace of mind knowing that you are looking out for their best interests. When an administrator receives a COVID-19 update they can notify their employees and/or adjust their workplace policies if needed via our screening and contact tracing app.
Check local public health information and the CDC COVID-19 website daily, or as needed depending on local conditions.
An effective solution is localized and customizable. Our platform’s policy recommendations are informed by local public health guidance.
Reinforce how employees can protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by communicating:
If you have symptoms, notify your supervisor and stay home.
If you are sick, follow CDC recommended steps, and do not return to work until you meet criteria to discontinue home isolation.
An effective solution educates and empowers employees to monitor and protect themselves. Our daily screening app generates customized employee recommendations daily. Users receive reminders to record symptoms in a quick and easy-to-use daily screening survey. After completing the screening process the app generates a recommendation to come to work or stay home based on the policies your organization has in place. Employers can fine-tune sick employees’ recommendations to meet their organization’s preferences and align with CDC guidelines for returning to work in their area.
Plan for conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks (e.g. symptom and/or health screenings) before employees enter the facility.
The CDC guidelines for returning to work recommend that organizations implement a daily screening protocol for employees to follow before they enter the workplace. In-person screenings invite workplace exposure to symptomatic employees. Our digital screening solution eliminates this risk by giving people the ability to screen before they leave their house via our mobile app.
Establish social distancing policies and practices
Utilizing Bluetooth technology, our app has a social distance alarm feature that can buzz to let employees know if they have come within 6 feet of another person for more than 1-minute. This helps users monitor their behavior and ensure they are practicing social distancing throughout the workday.
Develop an action plan for suspected/confirmed cases
In order to effectively combat the pandemic you must have a plan in place to respond to sick employees and/or confirmed COVID-19 cases. This plan must ensure infected employees isolate and potentially exposed employees are contacted. Our BioSecurity Portal allows you to immediately alert exposed employees while maintaining the infected employee’s confidentiality. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 our solution automatically triggers contact tracing based on the bluetooth data collected and the symptom screening information to discover who is potentially at risk for transmission.