MU implements CampusClear checkpoints in effort to curb spread of COVID-19

The checkpoints, located at some high-traffic campus buildings, require students to check their symptoms with the CampusClear app.

MU began enforcing CampusClear checkpoints at MizzouRec and Ellis Library on Monday, Oct. 19. Since then, the university implemented a new checkpoint at the Student Center and posted signs outside most buildings or dining halls reminding students to check the app.

MU originally asked students to install the app at the beginning of the semester, but the checkpoints implemented over the last two weeks are the first time the university has monitored student use. At MizzouRec, Ellis Library and the Student Center, employees verify the students’ CampusClear status.

MU News Bureau Associate Director Liz McCune said MU plans to add a checkpoint at Memorial Union in the coming weeks.

“It’s really easy to just scroll to the bottom and hit no symptoms,” said MU freshman Rosalie Garzia. “I really don’t think people are actually taking the time to reflect it.”

While she said she thinks the new CampusClear system is a “really good effort” to make sure people are tracking symptoms, if someone already plans to go to public places with COVID-19 symptoms, the app is not going to be an effective way to stop them.

McCune said CampusClear is just a way to make sure anyone who spends time on campus is taking the extra steps to do daily check-ins.

“We already know the best weapon we have against COVID-19 is changing behavior,” she said. “That means ... monitoring our health, so that if you do all of a sudden have a new sore throat or a cough or you’ve lost your sense of smell, you immediately are talking to a doctor to see what your next step should be.”

McCune also said all COVID-19 policies on campus “require people to be honest and to have personal integrity,” and anyone who lies is hurting fellow students.

MU freshman Hannah Gundlach believes the current procedures do not go far enough to limit the spread of COVID-19, since checkpoints are limited.

“You would think the most important areas to be checked would be the dining halls where people are without their masks, but I’ve never seen that,” she said.

Checkpoints now also offer an alternative to CampusClear; students who do not want to or cannot use the app can get checked for a fever with an infrared thermometer at Ellis Library, the Student Center and MizzouRec.

McCune said the option was added for students who may not have smartphones or would not be able to download the app.

“At the rec center, they had an option to just get your temperature checked, and I feel like that would be a whole lot more effective if they just did that everywhere instead of having CampusClear,” Gundlach said.

She said she thinks temperature checks, especially at dining halls or other places where people are not wearing masks, would be beneficial, but only if they were implemented universally.

Garzia, on the other hand, said she thinks temperature checks are not an accurate way to track the virus.

“A lot of people in college don’t have a fever,” she said.

On top of checkpoints, MU also added extra signs around campus reminding students to check their symptoms using CampusClear. Signs are located even where checkpoints are not, including in some dining halls.

Overall, Garzia and Gundlach agree the system has its flaws. Both of them said the app only works for the students who are already being responsible with other safety precautions.

“You aren’t going to be able to see symptoms in people,” Garzia said. “It’s just them knowing how they feel and being responsible with who they’re with.”

Edited by Joy Mazur | jmazur@themaneater.com

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