How can I use my personal data to support my community during the fight against COVID-19?

The fight against COVID-19 is a collective effort that requires collaboration, communication, and up to date information. CODE has identified strategies for patients looking to learn more about how they can leverage their personal data in this fight. 

Downloading a safe contact tracing app. There are a number of contact tracing mobile applications that can show if you’re near a COVID hot-spot or have potentially been exposed. These applications are often only as valuable as the amount of people who opt to use them. By using an app and sharing your data, you can help understand the spread and hyper-local nature of the virus. The World Economic Forum has noted that patients who understand the geographic spread of COVID-19 can help researchers and policymakers alike map the spread of COVID-19 and create heat maps of specific symptoms. 

Get tested and contribute your data. Testing gaps are a major concern in many communities and patients who get tested help provide valuable information to understand the spread of the virus. With testing sites around the United States, the CDC and other national surveillance systems rely heavily on inputs of testing data to determine the “percent positive” rates of COVID. Based on improving testing data, the CDC has helped roll out new surveillance systems like the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) which helps test for RNA from Sars-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. 

Support resilience efforts in your community. Organizations like Resilient American Communities (RAC) are springing up around the country to help better organize communities and share resources in the face of disasters like COVID-19. RACs in Florida, like the Sarasota Resilience System, include valuable informational resources, links to community organizations that can provide key social services, and data dashboards that can illustrate the spread of COVID-19 around communities. Many of these RACs deploy community health workers to carry out contact tracing and increase testing sites in vulnerable communities.