SeQure adds COVID-19 self assessment tool to safety app

Image provided by Queen’s University.

SeQure, a mobile safety app for the Queen’s University community, has added a COVID-19 assessment tool as part of focused efforts to keep the campus community safe this fall.

According to a news release dated Thursday, Sep. 3, 2020, the app, which launched in 2012 to provide quick and comprehensive access to the university’s security resources, will allow users who arrive on campus to fill out a brief COVID-19 self assessment survey. Based on their answers—to questions about symptoms and travel for instance—the app will signal to users whether it is safe to proceed with their visit.

“Though most students and employees will continue to learn and work remotely this fall, Queen’s is working to ensure that those who will be on campus are safe, informed, and have the right tools,” says Mark Green, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “We strongly recommend that all students, staff, faculty, and visitors to our campuses download the SeQure app and use the assessment tool, as it will assist administrators and our public health partners in mitigating potential impacts of any potential COVID-19 transmission.”

The app will also ask users if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, as well as for a contact number and a list of buildings you plan to visit that day, in order to assist public health authorities conduct contact tracing should it be required, read the release.

“The SeQure app takes respect for user privacy very seriously and does not track your device’s location,” says Kim Murphy, Executive Director, Queen’s Risk and Safety Services. “The responsibility will be on users to fill out the app survey and receive the ‘all clear’ before each visit to campus. It’s quick and simple, and doing so will help keep them, their colleagues or classmates, and the community safe.”

According to the release, app users will see a ‘green badge’ if the app indicates it’s safe to proceed. A QR code is also generated, and these can be presented to building attendants, athletics and recreation staff, employee managers, and more upon entering various university facilities for a 24-hour period. The badge and QR code expire after the 24-hour period, and users will be required to fill out the questionnaire again before their next trip to campus.

If the responses to the survey signify potential symptoms or exposure to COVID-19, Queen’s says the app will display a screen that asks the user to discontinue their visit, return home, and complete the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment survey.

According to the release, staff and faculty are asked to fill out the Symptoms and Response form and advise their supervisor. Students should contact Student Wellness Services at 613-533-6740 for medical assistance, and those living in residence should follow the COVID-19 Residence Student Isolation Protocol.

This new functionality for the SeQure app is is part of Queen’s larger return-to-campus plan, which aims to facilitate a safe, responsible, and gradual return to normal operations, as public health conditions and guidance permit, Queen’s said in the release. As part of this effort, the university is continuing with remote delivery of classes this fall for most students, limiting the capacity of our residences to under 50 per cent, making face masks mandatory, ensuring physical distancing, and working with public health partners to set up a COVID-19 testing centre on campus. Queen’s is also strongly encouraging students from areas with active outbreaks or community transmission to get tested before travelling to Kingston, and asking all students to limit contact with others for 14-days after arrival. For more information on the university’s COVID-19 planning and resources, visit the COVID-19 Information website.

To get the SeQure app for iOS or Android, visit the Campus Security website, or search for it on your device’s app store.

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