Monroe County Executive Adam Bello was joined by Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, Common Ground Health CEO Wade Norwood and County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza on May 7 to urge area residents to sign up for ROC COVID, a health screening tool that could help prevent further spread of COVID-19 throughout Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region.
Data collected by ROC COVID will also increase understanding of the virus, measure efforts to slow its progression, and help determine where to focus testing or adjust stay-at-home and physical distancing requirements.
“Since the moment COVID-19 first appeared in our community, we have seen a wave of people coming forward, wanting to help,” Bello said. “This is what strong communities do when faced with a challenge. We look out for one another. I am excited to announce an opportunity for every adult – not just in Monroe County, but throughout the entire region – to look out for one another and help us win our fight against COVID-19.”
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. Residents who participate will receive daily email reminders to take the survey. A text version of the daily survey will be rolled out in the near future.
“The best way to deal with the fear and uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis is with precise and accurate information. And, that is exactly what the ROC COVID daily survey provides. A simple and easy way to share information about your health via your phone. This data will allow us to understand where the virus may be in our community and to quickly provide guidance and help to those who need it,” Warren said. “But, we need you to help as well, that’s why I hope you join us in going to ROCCOVID.org today to sign up. And, then take the survey every day.”
Collected data will be securely housed and analyzed by Common Ground Health, a regional health planning organization that serves the Rochester-Finger Lakes region.
“The ROC COVID community tracking tool can demonstrate just how powerful collaboration can be, by getting us back on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. But success will require participation from all of us who live in the Finger Lakes region,” Norwood said.
Scientists and information technology staff from the University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health developed ROC COVID.
"With a low rate of COVID-19 infection across our region, most people are still potentially susceptible to the virus, and therefore we want to do everything we can to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases that places additional demands on health care resources and threatens our economic recovery,” Dr. Mark B. Taubman, CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center said. “ROC COVID uses a simple web-based tool that will allow our community to see if there are upticks in symptoms to identify potential COVID-19 hot spots, direct resources, and ultimately, help the community stay healthy and recover together,"
"One of the most important tools in the fight against any pandemic is timely access to data that allows for quick action to mitigate the spread and, ultimately, keep our communities healthy and safe," stated Dr. Eric Bieber, President, and CEO of Rochester Regional Health. "The ROC COVID health screening tool is another example of the region working together to harness the power of data to maintain vigilance in our shared response to the global COVID-19 pandemic."
ROCCOVID partners are planning a media campaign to encourage participation from residents of Monroe County and 12 Finger Lakes counties: Allegany, Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates. University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health employees are asked not to participate in the communitywide tool, however, as they should continue to respond to their own internal surveys.