Managing Campus COVID-19 Outbreaks with Mass Notification

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Managing Campus COVID-19 Outbreaks

Many higher ed institutions have decided to reopen their campuses despite the ongoing pandemic. While many took extra precautions to ensure safe environments for students and staff, the reality of trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus has proved especially challenging. Across the country, colleges are seeing outbreaks among student populations and finding that they need to adapt guidelines and procedures to mitigate the disruptions caused by these outbreaks.

This requires strong communication to address student and community concerns while outlining actionable steps that will be taken to prevent further spreading the disease. In this blog post, we’ll provide tips for using a mass notification system to help manage COVID-19 outbreaks on college and university campuses.

Sharing Outbreak Information

Before reopening, many college and university campuses put testing plans in place to help identify potential outbreaks. This has helped to identify cases, but as those numbers have grown, campus officials have needed to adjust policies to continue operating. This has included quarantining students in dormitories and moving to virtual classes, and well as providing additional reminders about the importance of wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

Mass notifications can help campuses share updated information via on-premises and mobile alerts. SMS texts, push notifications and email can all be sent to students and staff to inform them about outbreaks on campus, as well as how and where they can get tested to see if they have COVID-19. If positive testing number spike, campus officials can alert students about quarantined areas of campus, as well as if instruction is shifting to virtual learning for a period of time.

Outbreak Incident Management

School officials can collaborate on appropriate responses to COVID-19 outbreaks with the help of a mass notification system as well. Integrations with tools like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams can bring key stakeholders together quickly to assessing developing outbreaks and determine the best course of action. Updates can then be communicated with an entire campus population.

If a campus needs to tighten procedures, messages can be scheduled with health and safety reminders to reach people directly on their mobile devices, and in buildings. IP speakers, IP phones, desktop computers, digital signage and more can all broadcast text and audio messages with information about washing hands, limiting gatherings, and wearing masks.

With a mass notification system, campuses can easily trigger alerts that reach everyone with consistent messaging. This helps keep everyone on the same and can minimize confusion as expectations shift to respond to changing circumstances. The more college and university leaders can make their communities aware of the precautions they should be taking, and where potential outbreaks are occurring, the more likely it is they will successfully maintain safe campuses.

 

 

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