Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren joined Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood today to announce an update to the region’s ROC COVID screening tool.

Participants can now sign up for free text messages reminding them to fill out the daily survey, which is designed to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Monroe and 12 other counties in the Finger Lakes region. Until now, participants could only receive reminders via email.

“Having a text reminder every morning makes it even easier to regularly take part in this critical initiative. This will help us continue growing the number of completed health screens,” Bello said. “The more data we have, the better we will be able to quickly identify COVID-19 outbreaks in our region and keep people safe.”

QUOTE from Lovely Warren

So far, more than 20,000 people are participating in the symptom tracker, and they have completed more than 280,000 daily screenings. Public health officials are using the data to understand how COVID-19 symptoms are showing up in our region. If hot spots appear, resources will be deployed to the specific areas to stop outbreaks quickly and effectively.

Participants are not asked to submit identifying information, such as name or address. The data is encrypted and stored in a secure environment by Common Ground Health, the region’s health research and planning agency.

“For many of us, out cell phones are our lifeline, so this new ability to respond to a daily text message creates a way to track COVID-19 symptoms that could not be more convenient,” said Wade S. Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health. “We can’t stop this pandemic by ourselves alone, but working together, we can.”

Available at ROCCOVID.org, the online survey tool takes only seconds to complete. It consists of a few questions that residents are encouraged to answer daily, even when they have no symptoms. Questions include whether they have a fever, a cough, chills or other primary coronavirus symptoms, as well as basic demographic information.