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Media Opportunity: New app makes COVID‑19 pre‑screening for students in Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Health easier and more accessible

Posted by Communications and Marketing on November 9, 2020 in News

A new app has been created to help streamline COVID-19 pre-screening for students in Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Health, who are among the few currently having in-person classes at the university. Using the app before each gathering is helping to ensure the safety of learners, faculty and clinical staff. 

Dr. Diane MacKenzie and Dr. Derek Rutherford, Associate Directors in Dalhousie’s School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, recognized the need for a new way to make pre-screening easier and more accessible to faculty and students from their computer or mobile device. They worked with Matt Peachey, a fourth-year student in the Faculty of Computer Science, on developing an app to decrease the entrance and screening time required prior to entering the building, and provide an electronic record for tracking purposes. 

Using a link that is placed in the Brightspace course, students complete the pre-screening questions (resembling those developed by Nova Scotia Health) either on their computer or mobile device on the day of their face-to-face class. Once the student has submitted the form, they receive an immediate response to their Dalhousie email address advising if they are able or not able to attend the class they have identified in the form. 

Before each class, faculty members receive the summary result for each student who completes the screening. They can then take this information, in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, to their on-campus course to check-off students as they come into class. It has become the pre-screening standard for all Faculty of Health, return to campus experiences this fall term. 

Dr. MacKenzie, Dr. Rutherford, and Matt Peachey are available to provide perspective on the new app, and how it has helped get schools in Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Health get on track for the return of their accredited entry to practice programs. 


Media Contact:
Michele Charlton
Communications Advisor, Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation
Dalhousie University
Cell: 902-222-2817