In addition to Algonquin’s Mobile Safety App, the college introduced a new COVID-19 digital self-screening plugin on Nov. 9 to improve health and safety measures concerning campus access.
The program was developed by Toronto-based company Apparmour, who created the original safety app during their eight-year partnership with the college.
The add-on comes as a measure to improve COVID-19 screening practices for those staff and students permitted on the grounds. It is available as an upgrade from the base app screen and is recommended to all who enter the college.
Students like Laurence Falardeau, who is in his first year in the baking program. He hopes the new system will ease concerns with current standards.
“I think it’s a good idea. Right now I just put on my mask, sanitize and go in,” said Falardeau. “I never get stopped or have to sign in or anything. My health isn’t the best, so it scares me to actually go on campus and see people not following sanitation protocols or being hygienic.”
Colin Bonang, director of risk management for Algonquin College says the program was developed to streamline the screening process in accordance with public health standards.
“We want people to be self-screening consistently,” said Bonang. “The app has been introduced as an easy way to facilitate that.”
The program provides users with a list of questions pertaining to their health and possible symptoms to assess any risk of infection. Once completed, the app provides a QR code that can be used as a badge of admittance for a 24-hour period that will be scanned by security at designated public entrances.
“I think what’s important here is that, as a college, we’re recognizing the importance of public health advice,” said Bonang. “Self-screening is one of those measures that people should be doing on a daily basis to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.“
The app has so far been met with strong participation rates from students with over 4,200 downloads to date.
“I would say that we’ve had a really good uptake from the college community on this,” said Bonang. “It only takes a minute and after that a few seconds to indicate that you’ve self-screened.”
Students who do not have access to a cellphone or that do not wish to use the app will still be able to access the campus by filling out paper forms provided by security.