8/22/2020: Update on ResponsiBLUE Health Screening Tool

To: Deans, directors, and department heads
From: Dr. Robert Ernst and Vice President Ravi Pendse
Date: August 22, 2020

Dear deans, directors, and department heads,

Since we announced ResponsiBLUE on Wednesday, Aug. 19, we have heard your feedback, questions and concerns. We appreciate this feedback and have added clarity and, in some areas, updated our guidance.

On behalf of university leadership, our goal is to provide a safe environment for all who are working or studying in our buildings or facilities, while also supporting those who are working or studying in their homes, or in other locations near and far.

The reality is that there is no single, predetermined model for how we should accomplish this in the midst of a global pandemic. As such, we are relying on our institutional public health and intellectual resources, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State of Michigan requirements, and other public-health guidance to devise a game plan.

One of the ways to help our university community members remain healthy and reduce the spread of COVID-19 this fall is by using ResponsiBLUE – an accessible, mobile-friendly health screen tool (responsiblue.umich.edu) and soon-to-be-released mobile app.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 24:

  • Every university community member (faculty, staff, and student) that is present in-person on U-M property or in a U-M facility during the day must complete a health assessment through the ResponsiBLUE tool before they enter the building or property, or upon exiting living quarters if living on campus.
  • Every university community member studying or working at home or remotely can also use ResponsiBLUE, if they want to. While it is not required of individuals who are remote, doing so will help make using the tool a healthy habit, and the aggregated data gathered will provide useful information about the overall health of the U-M community.
  • Visitors and vendors must use the guest version of ResponsiBLUE (guest.responsiblue.umich.edu) whenever they come to campus.
  • ResponsiBLUE must be used daily (results expire after 12 hours) in concert with the university’s other public health measures, including wearing face coverings whenever on campus, maintaining social distancing, practicing frequent handwashing, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when sick.
  • ResponsiBLUE collects certain data -- uniqname, time and date logged in and check completed, device type (aggregate data only), answers to yes or no questions -- to monitor trends in aggregate symptom reports over time and to measure the levels of COVID-19 in the university community. The screening tool does not track location.
  • We respect individual privacy and will only hold on to personally-identifiable information for 30 days in accordance with ResponsiBLUE’s privacy policy. Afterward, the data will be de-identified by removing uniqnames from the information and will be kept indefinitely to assist with monitoring trends over time, measuring the levels of COVID-19 in the community, and making informed decisions regarding the university’s public health response to the virus.
  • This data is being gathered to check trends, identify possible outbreaks or hotspots, meet State of Michigan regulatory requirements, and enhance safety for all.

For ResponsiBLUE and all related efforts to be effective, every one of us needs to be committed to practicing a culture of care for one another. We encourage you to find out more about the screening tool, including an updated list of frequently asked questions, on the Information and Technology Services website. We thank you for using ResponsiBLUE, and for all you are doing to be healthy Wolverines during this academic year. Go Blue!

Dr. Robert Ernst
Executive Director of University Health Service and
Associate Vice President for Health and Wellness in Student Life
University of Michigan

Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan