Everbridge App to Strengthen Contact Tracing Efforts
Students, faculty and staff encouraged to download secure and private smartphone app to help identify possible cases of COVID-19.
University of Mississippi faculty, staff and students are encouraged to download Everbridge, a secure smartphone app that allows individuals to self-report their positive COVID-19 status and helps university contact tracers notify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
Once downloaded, the secure and private smartphone app will provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to self-report if they have tested positive for COVID-19. Once that self-reporting has occurred, the app can help identify exposure to other individuals in the campus community who have tested positive for COVID-19. Contact information of mobile app users is never exchanged or shared with other app users. The app does request location permission, which is required to enable the Bluetooth scanning feature, but it is not used for location tracking in any way.
Bluetooth technology is a major component of digital contact tracing efforts. Once Bluetooth is enabled by the user in the Everbridge Mobile App, a user’s device will continually transmit and collect anonymous “keys” from other devices that have this app installed – no exchange occurs with devices that do not have the app installed. Bluetooth will help determine if users have been in proximity to other users who have reported a positive test.
The app helps keep you safe by informing you if you’ve been in close proximity to someone who has recently reported as being positive for the virus. It relies on an anonymous “key” exchange, made possible through Bluetooth. By students, faculty and staff utilizing the self-reporting feature, the app will determine if other users were in proximity to the user with a positive case.
All information related to who the close contacts are remains private and confidential and only becomes available to the university after a positive report by one of the close contacts. Users are unable to see their close contacts whatsoever. Activity related to contact tracing is performed through a verified workflow mechanism managed by the university.
The app is also meant to be a "one stop" location for all of the COVID-19 related information published by the university including the university’s Daily Symptom Checker.