COVID screener developed at George Mason helps with return to campuses across Virginia

A locally-developed online COVID-19 screening program is helping college students get back to school across Virginia.

The COVID Health Check tool was developed at George Mason University in March, at the onset of the pandemic. It has been refined since then and shared with universities across the state.

“We’re doing symptom and exposure screening, which means that we’re asking individuals to answer questions daily, or before they come into their place of work or university or school,” said Amira Roess, professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at George Mason University.

Roess helped develop the screener and was also an outbreak investigator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those who use the screener are given a red, yellow or green light.

“Red basically means you may be experiencing an acute health crisis,” Roess said.

Yellow means the person should consider quarantining, and green means “that you’re clear to enter the premises or the place of employment or the university based on your answers.”

These types of screeners are “a really important first step,” Roess said. “These are the best sorts of tools that we have to really get ahead of these COVID-19 outbreaks.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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