It was a chaotic first morning back for Toronto students this morning, and not just because they were returning in the midst of a pandemic.
The Toronto District School Board's COVID-19 screening app, which students are required to complete daily before coming to school, went down around 8:15 a.m. due to "technical issues."
"We are currently experiencing technical issues with our Health Screening App. Please use our Health Screening Paper Pass for your self-assessment and we will continue to provide updates when more information becomes available. We appreciate your patience," tweeted the TDSB this morning as families across the city sent their kids back to school for the first time since March break.
SERVICE ALERT: Health Screening Application and ServiceIT are unavailable. Our team is investigating and we apologize for the inconvenience.— TDSB IT Services (@TDSB_IT) September 17, 2020
When functional, the app is a screening tool that asks students and faculty to disclose whether or not they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
It asks whether the individual is experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, trouble swallowing, runny nose, red eyes, loss of taste or smell, sore muscles, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
It also asks if the student has returned from travel outside Canada in the past 14 days, and whether they've been in close contact with someone who is sick or has confirmed COVID-19 in the past 14 days without wearing the appropriate PPE.
If a student or faculty member answers yes to any of these questions, they are asked to stay home and self-isolate immediately.
The app is required to be used daily by all students and faculty at TDSB schools, making it particularly inconvenient for the app to go down on the very first day back.
As an alternative, students were asked to instead use the paper version of the health screening pass, but those without printers (which is a lot of people) were forced to line up outside schools and do the screening in person at the door.
Your school can do the screening at the door.— Toronto District School Board (@tdsb) September 17, 2020
Fortunately, around 10 a.m., the TDSB tweeted that the screening app was once again up and running.
"After a brief outage, the TDSB Screening App is up and running again," they wrote. "Thank you for your patience this morning!"
by Mira Miller via blogTO