Campus Clear is more than checking the right boxes

With the percentage of students using the Campus Clear app sometimes dropping as low as 20 percent, Hamline’s COVID-19 task force urges students that the daily health screening app should empower them to make a positive impact on our campus by keeping everyone safe.


Aidan Stromdahl
Students should be looking out for the “Good to go!” screen when checking in with the Campus Clear app. These daily health screenings are seen as crutial by the Center for Disease Control, and are one of the precautions Hamline and other insitutuions have taken since spring of 2020.

SJ Welch, Reporter

When COVID-19 hit the United States back in March, universities were looking to experts to figure out how to approach a pandemic on their college campuses. As scientists at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention studied this virus, they have discovered that “daily health screenings were one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of COVID-19,” especially in highly trafficked areas.

Daily health screenings became required under initial state ordinances in late March which obligated any person coming on campus to take a health screening. This was important to the few faculty members who stayed working on campus throughout the entirety of the pandemic. 

“My office never closed through all of this,” said Patti Klein-Kiersten, a member of Hamline’s COVID-19 task force.

Campus Clear was created early in the pandemic to bridge this gap.

 “Preventing infected individuals from visiting campus is a critical factor in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” stated the Campus Clear company. 

They provide workplaces and universities with an app that sends daily alerts to people coming in-person to perform a daily health screening right on the app.

“It is a tool for people to be able to use,” Klein-Kiersten said. “I think the expectation is really if you’re going to be coming to our campus, we want to make sure that you’re healthy coming in. [The Campus Clear app] is the tool that we’ve chosen to be able to help you make that decision or not.” 

The task force team is hoping this app helps students feel empowered to keep their campus safe.

Yet, are people using the app consistently? The past week’s participation of students and faculty using Campus Clear was only 20%. Though this may seem alarming at first, Melinda Heikkinen, Director of Public Safety and the COVID Coordinator for Hamline University, shared one factor for why the participation may be so low.

“These numbers may seem low but this also means we are not having large portions of our student body on campus every day,” Heikkinen said.

The percentages of students using the app daily fluctuates constantly. 

“This number has been as high as 70% but is clearly dropping. That could be because of remote classes or just the day of the week,” said Heikkinen. 

With the changes happening in classes and the world outside of Hamline, it is impossible to know why and how these percentages are changing. Yet, the importance of the app remains the same.

For Klein-Kiersten, daily health screening is more than just answering questions every morning. It’s an education tool. 

“My hope is that it’s also educating everyone. And I think we’ve all learned a lot about the pandemic; with masking and distancing and health and everything else we’ve gone through,” Klein-Kiersten said.  “So, now that we really know and understand this, we know that this isn’t just about me, but that my actions can have impact.” 

The task force is hoping that Campus Clear can be the avenue students and faculty use to make a positive impact on our campus.