Monroe County Executive Adam Bello And Mayor Lovely Warren Announce Update To Roc Covid Symptom Tracker

June 3rd, 2020

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Participants can now sign up for free text messages reminding them to fill out the daily survey.

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 11 other counties in the Finger Lakes region. Until now, participants could only receive reminders via email.

"Thousands of people are stepping up and doing these screens to help our community recover. The more data we collect, the better we will be able to quickly identify COVID-19 outbreaks in our region, keep people safe and reopen the economy," Bello said. "Having a text reminder every morning makes it even easier to regularly take part in this critically important initiative."

New participants can opt-in to text message reminders when signing up for ROC COVID. Current participants who now receive email reminders will be given the option to switch to text reminders in one of their daily emails.

"The more people who take part in online screening, the faster we can return to normal activities," said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. "Our community has a long history of excellence in innovation and this tool and the new text reminder feature are examples of how Rochester is on the leading edge in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. I'm proud of our resident participants and grateful to our project partners for working so diligently to address this pandemic."

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.

The survey 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. 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."

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