Participation in the region’s innovative COVID-19 symptom tracking tool doubled to more than 50,000 in September thanks in large part to employees from the University of Rochester and Rochester Regional Health opting to share their responses to workplace screenings.
The addition of employer-based data to ROC COVID provides a more robust ability to spot ZIP codes with potential COVID-19 outbreaks. With more than 3 million screenings logged since June, the daily symptom rate remains below 1% of responses, but should they increase, officials can direct public health resources to ZIP codes in need.
Incorporating the data from workplace screening systems was a complex technical challenge for the ROC COVID team, said Albert Blankley, chief operating officer for Common Ground Health and one of the leads on the project. But the increased participation was just what the doctor ordered.
“We need additional participants from all 13 counties to ensure that we don’t miss any increase of cases in the community,” Blankley said.
Additional marketing and community engagement initiatives are planned for October to increase sign ups in ZIP codes where participation remain low. Residents who are already signed up are encouraged to share with friends and family how easy it is to simply answer yes or no to the daily text or email asking if you are experiencing symptoms.
To sign up for ROC COVID and to share the screening tool with others, go to www.roccovid.org.