Cell phones could protect Waterbury college students from COVID on campus

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — It isn’t unusual to see college students reaching for their cell phones. What they’re doing on their phones may surprise you.

At Post University, their actions could prevent COVID-19 from spreading on campus this year.

Apparently, there’s an app for that.

“You just wake up and fill out some questions if you have any symptoms or anything,” said Emily Tarko, a sophomore who was moving back to campus.

Friday was move-in day for many students. The last time campus was buzzing with student activity was two years ago.

Sophomore Dylan Alteri told News 8 it’s great to be back.

“Everyone’s excited,” he said.

He also told News 8 COVID is still on his mind — especially in Waterbury, which has been hit hard by the virus.

“Hopefully everyone follows the protocols and we will all be safe,” he said.

Among the protocols this year — grabbing their cell phones before they start each day and accessing Post University’s mobile app. There’s a special feature that checks students’ health each day.

“It has all of the symptoms and it rates you on a scale of one to ten depending on the symptoms you have and then you take that and it gives you a red, yellow, or green,” said Dylan.

“Dylan then scans into every single place he is going on campus — whether it’s into the dining hall or into a classroom and if he’s in that green status, he’s allowed to go in there,” said Erica Peryga, Dean of Students. “If it flashes red because he’s not well, it’s going to stop him from going into that classroom.”

In May, Post University announced students had to be vaccinated to return. The result — 99 percent of the campus is now fully vaccinated. University officials say the one percent that isn’t is due to an approved medical or religious accommodation.

While the students were gone and the campus was closed to collegiate activity, Waterbury Health held its large outdoor drive-thru COVID vaccination clinic on campus. That effort resulted in 37,000 shots being administered.

Post University officials are proud of the school’s commitment to keeping people safe.

“We made a huge impact and we’ll continue to make that impact,” said Dean Peryga.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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