Students must upload health data to mobile app DAILY in order to return to campus

The Ohio State University has recently announced its plans for bringing students back to campus.

Among other stipulations, students must upload their temperature and health data to a mobile “health check” application.

As colleges and universities open their doors amid the current pandemic, schools have begun to institute their own measures to mitigate risk. But one such policy move by Ohio State University is raising ethical questions.

OSU announced that students will return to class in the fall, but now has clarified that its phased approach will require that all students, faculty, and staff present on campus be required to submit a daily health report.  According to the university, this health report will be submitted via a mobile app and will contain health information such as the student’s temperature. 

The system is currently being tested on university employees.

[RELATED: UT will require students receive flu shots, COVID-19 vaccines]

The university is also piloting a system for swab testing.

“Each pilot will be used to inform decisions about the autumn semester while helping to support the safety of our community during the current phased return to full on-campus operations,” university president Michael Drake told students.

Athletes who want to compete in any fall sports events or use the university’s sports facilities are reportedly subject to an additional requirement in that they must sign a document acknowledging the risk of returning to training facilities. 

[RELATED: Universities to mass test students as they return to campus]

Baruch College law professor Marc Edelman told the Associated Press that the Ohio State pledge is “more morally wrong” than a similar document from Southern Methodist University, saying “not only does the pledge seem to reduce Ohio State University’s liability, but it is written in such a way that college athletes themselves might not even have their guards up to what the university and lawyers are attempting to do.”

Edelman went on to explain that the document can possibly absolve the university of any coronavirus related liability should athletes catch the virus while playing. 

OSU’s announcement did not specify whether it will have access to each student’s health information, or whether that data will remain anonymous. It’s also not clear which app the university intends to use for reporting purposes or who will have access to the data. 

OSU did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication.