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UAB launches GuideSafe tomorrow August 4

The "most comprehensive" college re-entry initiative in the country
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 5:58 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Designed by UAB experts, the most comprehensive and advanced re-entry platform for college campuses in the country will launch Tuesday, August 4. GuideSafe is to monitor and lessen the spread of COVID-19 among college campuses in the state.

The GuideSafe platform provides free testing to all college students in the state of Alabama upon returning to campus. It is made possible by $30 million of the federal CARES act, designated by Governor Kay Ivey.

“We have believed that all along that the ability to test every student returning to campus is essential to help us maintain a safe environment,” said Dr. Ray Watts, President of the University of Alabama at Birmingham

Students must register to get tested.

“The first step that many of our students need to do is open their email, and check, click through and register for testing,” said Bob Phillips, Executive Director of GuideSafe testing, UAB.

Students cannot go to a testing site without an appointment.

“It is vital that they comply with this program because that is the only way they can come back to college, a university and do it safely,” said Dr. Watts.

Testing sites are determined where a student lives, not necessarily where they go to school. Out of state students can choose to get tested on site or be mailed a testing kit. Students will not have to travel more than 60 miles to get tested.

Another tool in effort to return safely, students are required to use the GuideSafe Health Check app.

“A web-based symptom and exposure monitoring application,” said Dr. Sue Feldman, Associate Professor of Health Informatics, UAB School of Health Professions

This app is created through Google and Apple technology.

Students are also highly encouraged to use the exposure notification app, but this is not required. This app is available to anyone with a “.edu” email address (students, faculty, staff and alums).

“Regardless of whether you are at school, at work, or in the community, the GuideSafe exposure notification app can anonymously alert you when you have previously come in contact with someone who, in 14 days, has tested positive for COVID-19,” said Dr. Feldman.

The University of Alabama Systems Chancellor Finis St. John said they are relying on everyone to do their part for the GuideSafe platform to be successful.

“The worst result would be that after all this work and this system, which is so comprehensive, if students and faculty and staff do not do their part then it would have been for nothing and we will not be successful so we are asking and imploring for everyone’s participation, everyone’s support, everybody to do their part, and if that happens it will be successful,” said Chancellor St. John.

200,000 students will be tested through GuideSafe. They plan to test about 10,000 TO 12,000 students each day.

They hope to expand this platform quickly and allow it to extend beyond college campuses to everyone in the state of Alabama.

Click here to view testing sites that will be open for students tomorrow, August 4.

Copyright 2020 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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