UM-Dearborn IT provides support for Campus Covid Policy

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Artistic rendering of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. (Freepik)

Throughout the pandemic, and especially now, accurate data is needed to understand what’s happening on campus. UM-Dearborn was able to leverage both centralized and local data sources, creativity, and a key partnership with ITS on the UM-Ann Arbor campus to interpret the raw data into useful, concise information to create accurate reporting, as well as develop an easy and secure method for student Covid testing collection. 

To write appropriate reports for leadership about UM-Dearborn student Covid policy compliance and assist with quarantine management, UM-Dearborn Information Technology Services (UMD-ITS) combined student data on vaccinations and exemptions with data on those students who had indicated they were not coming to campus. The student data came from the local Student Information System known as “Banner.” The team created a Salesforce application to allow fully-remote students to do an online attestation that they would not be on campus for the term. This exempted students from the vaccine requirement.

UMD-ITS also created a way for students to upload testing data, and automated sending this data to ITS-Ann Arbor. (The Ann Arbor-based CSTP testing program is not available at UM-Dearborn, so the campus uses a different vendor).

To determine compliance reporting and processes, UMD-ITS created a cohort that was made up of students and employees who were subject to compliance. Working collaboratively with UM-Ann Arbor and UM-Flint campuses, algorithms were developed for student and employee cohorts. The algorithms now run daily and are integrated into the data warehouse.

The algorithms were developed based on some key questions, including: 

  • How will the policy for students abroad and fully remote impact data collection?
  • What are the data needs for students? Employees?  
  • How would data be processed for employees who are also students?
  • What about students who are also part-time employees? 
The UM-Dearborn fully online student confirmation form developed by UM-Dearborn ITS.
This is the form UM-Dearborn students complete if they are fully online.

For those students and employees that were required to do weekly testing, a process was needed to collect, securely coordinate, and review that data. UMD-ITS created a Salesforce application for students and employees to securely self-report their test results and to upload a picture of the test result.

UM-Dearborn Covid-19 self-report form.
This is the self-report form.

ResponsiBLUE was already being used to collect Covid vaccination information, and is also being used at UM-Dearborn. The app is populated with UM-Dearborn data once it is sent to the data warehouse.

A screen capture of a passed ResponsiBLUE Covid check.

UMD-ITS combined the Ann Arbor vaccination status data with aggregated student course data to create the Vaccination Status by Course Modality depicting the student course population by In-Person, In-Person/Hybrid, Online, and Partially Online course delivery methods.

The Contact Tracing report was developed to help the UM-Dearborn quarantine team readily determine all students in a particular course or a quick search by student to see what courses may need to be considered for a quarantine situation. UMD-ITS was also able to leverage existing campus employee and student search reports to improve the efficiency of quarantine processing.

The ongoing nature of the pandemic means accommodating additional terms of data and ongoing campus policy enhancements. In partnership with ITS on the UM-Ann Arbor campus, UMD-ITS is now incorporating booster requirements into the process, as well as making adjustments for changes in the quarantine requirements.

UM-Dearborn greatly appreciates all the help and support from colleagues in ITS on the UM-Ann Arbor campus as well as the Campus Health Response Committee (CHRC). Their hard work on creating and maintaining the Covid data warehouse and business logic (and helping us think through our best options for integration) was invaluable.