Team of Sault doctors launch new all-in-one COVID-19 app
Called 'Community Pass,' the app allows users to conduct screening and check-ins before entering businesses, upload positive COVID-19 test results and send in papers confirming your vaccination. (Photo from video)
SAULT STE. MARIE -- A team of doctors in the Sault is launching a new COVID-19 app that aims to be the all-in-one hub for businesses and people when it comes to contact tracing.
The app is called 'Community Pass' and allows users to conduct screening and check-ins before entering a business, upload positive COVID-19 test results and papers confirming a vaccination.
"This was kind of a joint effort with a few colleagues and what essentially happened was (we thought) how can we make this process easier and better," said Dr. Lucas Castellani, one of the app's creators.
"We know there had to be screening at the hospital and we said, well can we make it better at the hospital and then all of a sudden we said, well this is bigger than the hospital -- we need to make this for the community."
Castellani said the team worked with public health organizations to ensure the screening process on the app matches ones you'd find in a business when asked to sign in.
Once complete, users can enter a business and show said organization that they've completed the screening process already on their phones.
He said there's also a process in which partnered businesses can set up automatic check-ins for app users, via a beacon.
"If you went to a restaurant right now, you'd have to sign up and say, look, I'm here, here's my number and here's my name," he said. "What this does is it skips that process, so now the app does it for you. It checks you in and you don't have to sign any papers or anything like that."
The app itself doesn't track a user's location. Rather, Castellani said information will be time-stamped when one checks in and remain anonymous, unless someone were to test positive for COVID-19 at that same establishment.
"Let's say you had significant exposure at Tim Horton's, for example," he said. "You'd be able to say look, we've had a few individuals that have been and checked-in to Tim Hortons, let's contact them and make sure they're aware of what happened, and so it's just another way of reaching out to individuals."
The app is free to download on IOS devices, but Castellani said the team is working on bringing it to other platforms.
The app itself was designed for use in Algoma, but he said he wants to make it compatible with the rest of the province soon.