Just after the conclusion of O-Week, Queen’s experienced a COVID outbreak that at its peak saw over 20% of our residents in isolation. Despite the widespread infection, there was minimal impact to students, staff or College life thanks to the preparation that occurred in February.

At the start of the year, as Omnicron took hold across Australia, it was clear that Queen’s would not be able to stop the spread of COVID in College. There was concern that if an outbreak occurred, student welfare might be at risk if staff became overwhelmed in the confusion of managing dozens of students moving in and out of isolation.

The HealthCheck App
Screenshot from the HealthCheck App

To protect against this scenario, a HealthCheck app (HCA) was conceived and developed by Queen’s staff that required isolating students to check-in daily, reporting if they were ‘coping’ or ‘needed assistance’.

The app provided a real-time dashboard to staff with a prioritised list of students requiring welfare checks, informed Eakins what meals needed to be prepared and Housekeeping what bathrooms needed heightened cleaning.

The HCA allowed the College to focus on student welfare by eliminating manual data entry and automating the coordination of services. The real-time data also enabled the College to accurate forecast future isolation numbers helping to keep many events running and College life as normal as possible.

The HCA and the associated robust isolation procedures were commended by the Department of Health and Human Services. Whilst we hope to see no further outbreaks in 2022, we are ready should they occur.

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