The school has had a slow and steady increase in cases in recent weeks, though most of the positives have been off campus and there has yet to be a singular, large outbreak. The initial spike in cases was driven by off-campus parties, UW officials have said, which have prompted an internal investigation to determine if students broke university rules amid the pandemic.
NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with mathematical biologist Joanna Masel of the University of Arizona about how the university is testing and tracing students for COVID-19.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Colleges and universities are opening up and sometimes quickly shutting down as the coronavirus takes hold on campus. So what is a school to do? The University of Arizona has a couple of innovations. One involves an app. And the other is a bit less polite. Joanna Masel is a mathematical biologist at the university. And she joins us now. Welcome to the program.
JOANNA MASEL: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You helped develop the COVID Watch app there. How does it work?
MASEL: So you download it. And if all goes well, that’s it. You just activate it. And you never hear from it again. But all – in the background, it’s listening to little anonymous pings to find out who’s near you