Rhode Island teacher develops coronavirus screening app

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LINCOLN, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island high school teacher, with the help of several students, has developed a mobile app to screen students, teachers and staff for symptoms of COVID-19 each day before they enter the building.

Joe Mazzone, a computer and software engineering instructor at the William M. Davies Jr. Career & Technical High School in Lincoln, tells The Providence Journal that the app also compiles data in a way that’s easy and efficient for school administrators to access.

The health screening app — which all students, teachers and staff members will be required to download — asks the user a series of symptom-screening questions provided by the state Department of Health, as well as questions about travel and potential exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus, Mazzone said.

If a user answers “yes” to any of the questions, a screen will appear telling him or her not to enter the building.

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TESTING PROTOCOLS UNCHANGED

Rhode Island has no plans to change its coronavirus testing policy, despite changes in the federal government’s testing protocols.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week tweaked its testing guidelines, determining close contacts of people who have become infected with the disease don’t necessarily need to receive a test if they are asymptomatic.

“While we always pay close attention to the recommendations coming out of the CDC, we are taking a more aggressive approach of testing in Rhode Island,” state Department of Health spokesperson Joseph Wendelken tells WPRI-TV. “We are not adopting a policy of not testing asymptomatic close contacts.”


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