Art by Ally Armstrong
Pepperdine requires anyone coming onto the Malibu campus to complete a Daily Wellness Check. The DWC asks screening questions to determine an individual’s COVID-19 risk and Department of Public Safety officers check every campus visitor’s status at the entrance gate.
The University introduced the program in early September to help combat COVID-19 on campus, wrote Student Health Center Director Rebecca Roldan in an email Oct. 26 to the Graphic.
“Completing the Daily Wellness Check makes accessing campus a conscious decision each day,” Roldan wrote. “It also helps alert the SHC as soon as possible if there is some community member who needs follow up and/or related contact tracing.”
Medicat, an electronic health record company, runs Pepperdine’s DWC, Roldan wrote. Individuals with access to campus receive an email every morning with a link to their screening form and, based on their answers, are categorized for 24 hours as cleared, not cleared, documented exposure or recent travel.
Roldan wrote that any staff, faculty, residential students and athletes with access to campus must complete the form daily. However, first-year Mirielle Cox, who lives on campus because of the unreliable Wi-Fi connection at her home in Lander, Wyo., only fills out her DWC four to five times a week without any issues.
“We get the email every day but we don’t [complete the form] every day,” Cox said. “I do them every time I return to campus from going off to get food or groceries or something like that.”
The DWC email asks campus visitors to screenshot their “green dot,” which loads after they finish the form in their internet browser and represents their cleared status. Since it only takes a few minutes, Cox said she does not mind filling out the DWC. She said when she stops at the campus gate, DPS officers check for green dots from everyone in the car.
“They don’t always read the names or, you know, look super closely at it,” Cox said. “It’s kind of expedited most of the time, but at least in my experience, they always ask to see the people in the back.”
Pepperdine created the questions on the DWC, but Medicat stores the information collected from it. Roldan said only SHC staff have access to the system, which abides by healthcare privacy laws.
“If an individual is identified as not cleared they will receive communication from the SHC to inquire about their situation,” Roldan wrote. “This will aid in identifying if an additional evaluation or contact tracing is necessary.”
Roldan wrote that the DWC decreases the risk that someone brings COVID-19 onto campus by requiring people to think about their health status before going through the gate.
“It is human nature to sometimes discount or downplay an exposure or symptoms,” Roldan wrote. “Especially if you really need/want to work or access campus for some reason.”
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