COVID-19 has changed the way colleges communicate and teach their students. In many cases, during the outbreak in 2020, colleges shut down campuses and relied on online classes and mobile communication. Even now as the outbreak is lessening in many areas around the world, colleges still need to be mindful of how they communicate information regarding COVID-19 as students return to campus.
Many sources state that a second wave of COVID-19 is likely to occur. So, while colleges work to determine their “new normal” COVID-19 cannot be forgotten. A new normal should consist of a way to inform students of a potential outbreak and specifically if there’s a risk they have been exposed.
Emergency alerting systems are a good first step to send notifications to all students to inform them of a potential outbreak. However, students who are specifically at risk should be provided with additional information and followed up with more closely than the entire student population.
SimplyCast’s emergency suite of tools has the capability to allow emergency managers at a college to both send mass alerts to inform all students as well as send specific notifications to students and employees who would have been in the location of the outbreak at the specific time of the outbreak through its powerful scheduling management tool, mass notification system, and contact relationship management database.
Let’s say, for example, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 in a college’s administrative building at 2pm on Tuesday. With SimplyCast Alerts, a notification could be sent to all students to inform them and ask them to avoid the area. A second alert could also be sent to all employees and students that were in the administrative building at that time. That group of contacts would be given more specific information such as whether or not they should self-isolate. The second alert is accomplished by storing student and employee schedules within the OnCall group and then sending the notification to just those lists as appropriate.
Due to the serious nature of COVID-19 and the health risks it poses on any college campus, emergency managers need to ensure that notifications regarding a breach are received and acknowledged. With SimplyCast, alerts can be sent via email, SMS, or voice call automatically. These notifications can also require the recipient to respond and acknowledge they received the message. If they do not respond, a staff member can follow up with them personally to ensure they receive the message and take the needed next steps.
All notifications are sent to students and employees via existing communication channels; no application needs to be downloaded by the sender or the recipients. So long as organizations know the contact information and schedule of the individual, they can be notified of any outbreaks that occur.
In a time of uncertainty, your college can help keep students safe and informed when they may be at risk of COVID-19 but are unaware. If you’d like to see SimplyCast’s platform and how it can support your college’s recovery from COVID-19, click the button below and book a one-on-one demo with a member of our team!