As more faculty and staff return to work on JHU's campuses and other university properties in August, they are going to get very familiar with the Prodensity app, which does a basic daily COVID-related health check.
Each day before coming to JHU for work, meetings, or any other activities, employees are asked to open the app or go online and answer two simple questions:
- Do you live with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus) within the last 14 days?
- Do you currently have any of these symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, acute loss of taste or smell, headache, diarrhea/vomiting, new fatigue/muscle aches, or runny nose/congestion that began in the last 72 hours?
If you answer no to both questions, you will be issued a green campus pass, which appears on your phone. If you answer yes to either question, you will be issued a red campus pass, which limits access to Johns Hopkins facilities and instructs you to contact the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center, or JHCCC, at 443-287-8500 to report your symptoms.
"The Prodensity system is a good reminder to JHU community members to take a moment and assess how they are feeling," says Jane Schlegel, vice president and chief administrative officer of the university. "Recognizing symptoms and staying home if you feel sick is an important tool for protecting against COVID-19.
"In addition," she says, "Prodensity is an important tool for collecting data so we can make informed decisions about the best way to keep students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible."
As users access on-campus resources, particularly signing onto Wi-Fi or using their J-Card, their activity will be cross-referenced with data indicating they have completed daily symptom checks. Individuals who fail to comply with the COVID-19 health check requirement may have their access to university locations and resources restricted. Users will receive reminders if they do not complete the health checks, and noncompliance could result in reduction of access to university resources, including but not limited to J-Card or Wi-Fi access.
The Prodensity app is also being used to monitor whether an individual has been vaccinated against COVID-19, a requirement to be on JHU campuses starting Aug. 1. Proof of vaccination needs to be uploaded using the vaccine management system. Details about the vaccination policy are on the JHU Coronavirus information website.
Individuals who do not get vaccinated are required to wear a mask and get tested twice weekly (once for School of Medicine affiliates). But, Schlegel says, it is important to realize that some people will continue to wear masks by choice, and the mask is not an indicator of whether they are vaccinated. "We are supportive of people who choose to continue masking. It's important to continue being considerate of all of our fellow community members," she says.
To download the Prodensity app, employees can access it in the Apple App Store or on Google Play; details are online at prodensity.jh.edu/welcome. Prodensity also has a support page that includes tutorials, FAQ, and troubleshooting information.
If you are already using Prodensity, you should make sure you have upgraded to version 2.1 to access all the features.
Individuals who do not want to download the app, or who do not have a smartphone, can access Prodensity via the web at covidsurvey.jh.edu/home.
Those who are working 100% remotely should change their status in Propensity to indicate that they will not be coming on campus.
Data captured in Prodensity will be retained for 30 days and may be used to initiate a case investigation with the JHCCC. Only a high level of data—whether you are registered or not, or if you have a vaccination exception (and no details about why or what kind)—is collected by the system. De-identified aggregated data (number of users engaging with the system, response rates, etc.) will be used for system monitoring and improvement. The Prodensity app will also follow basic security guidelines to ensure that all data is protected, just as other sensitive data is.