Watch: Alabama Department of Public Health holds news conference to announce COVID-19 tracing app for college students

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Monday, the Alabama Department of Public Health will announce details for the rollout of a COVID-19 contact tracing app.

The app is designed to help identify and notify people who’ve come into with some who has tested positive for the virus.

As students prepare for the fall semester, some virtually and others in person, Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said schools need to be innovative in preparing for students to return to the classroom.

This new contact tracing app is specifically for college students.

Being developed in connection with two of America’s largest tech companies, it is aimed at reducing the number of ADPH personnel needed to provide notice of a positive test and reduce spread of the virus.

The Alabama Department of Public Health announced the project a few months ago, but details have been limited. That’s expected to change at the briefing Monday.


Those speaking at the news conference include:

  • Finis St. John, chancellor of The University of Alabama System
  • Dr. Scott Harris, state health officer, Alabama Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Ray Watts, president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Dr. Sue Feldman, associate professor of health informatics, UAB School of Health Professions
  • Dr. Selwyn Vickers, dean of the UAB School of Medicine
  • Curt Carver, vice president and chief information officer, UAB
  • Bob Phillips, executive director of GuideSafe testing, UAB
  • Mohanraj Thirumalai, assistant professor of Health Informatics, UAB School of Health Professions
  • Dr. George Netto, Chair, UAB Department of Pathology

Tool Kits for Schools

A tool kit was also developed for school systems that include signage and information for students and faculty.

Landers said the kit will also help explain ADPH’s contact and case investigation procedures developed for the upcoming school year

Monday’s briefing will include state health officer Dr. Scott Harris and representatives from UAB. it is not yet clear if the app will be rolled out in time for fall classes.

UAB will live stream the briefing on Facebook at 10 a.m.

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