ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan residents can now enter information at any time into a new tool and see if they are showing symptoms that might be early signs of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The website is designed to help Michiganders track possible COVID-19 symptoms and, in turn, safely reengage the economy while slowing the spread of the virus.
The MI Symptoms Web Application was created by the University of Michigan School of Public Health and College of Engineering in collaboration with the Michigan departments of Health and Human Services and Labor and Economic Opportunity.
While the tool was designed primarily for employers and employees, it’s available for anyone in Michigan. Just enter information daily to help identify symptoms that might be caused by the virus.
It could help residents make decisions about when to seek medical help.
Health officials will monitor the collective data to identify the potential for new outbreaks around Michigan.
“MI Symptoms will help Michiganders identify symptoms of the virus early, allowing them to take the appropriate actions for their health and the health of those around them,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “This will also help state and local public health workers connect these individuals to important resources like testing locations and support services. I encourage people to sign up on the app to stop the spread of the virus.”
Some employers might ask or require employees to use MI Symptoms as they return to work. The site will be especially useful for front line workers who are more at risk of exposure.
Employees can also use the site as an objective tool to show employers they shouldn’t be going to work without having to share symptom-specific information.
“As businesses reopen and bring their employees back into the workplace, it’s important that we all do so safely,” LEO Director Jeff Donofrio said. “MI Symptoms is a free tool that employers can use to help track workplace health and keep our economy operating. By using the app and following workplace safety guidelines to limit COVID-19 exposure, businesses can do their part to keep their workers and customers healthy.”
MI Symptoms users enter basic physiological data daily, such as the presence of fever or other COVID-19 symptoms. It also provides health officials an early indication of where illnesses could be popping up.
Officials from the University of Michigan and MDHHS said they are using robust security, along with continuous monitoring services, to protect private symptom data and other personal information. The tool does not track users through their phone using Bluetooth or GPS.
“We all know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again, but opening too soon could put our economy, health and medical system at risk,” said Sharon Kardia, Ph.D, Associate Dean at U-M School of Public Health. “This collaboration is building online tools to provide up-to-date COVID-19 related information that will help state and local officials make informed decisions regarding community economic re-engagement. MI Symptoms and the MI Safe Start Map integrates real-time data collection and analysis to aid rapid decision-making.”