Bio-Buttons to track COVID-19 strongly suggested for Oakland University students

Posted at 10:20 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 22:31:01-04

ROCHESTER (WXYZ) — Ahead of students and faculty returning for fall semester at Oakland University, the school is taking a big step towards preventing possible coronavirus outbreaks.

Oakland University will provide Bio-Buttons for students and staff to wear as soon as they return in late August. The goal is to minimize possible risk of exposure to anyone with COVID-19, and help prevent outbreaks.

The buttons help students and staff track their heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature but aren't the only safeguard. OU will also require testing prior to move-in, provide health kits and have sanitizing stations along with adjusted occupancy to allow for CDC approved distancing. As for recently deciding to make the buttons optional, rather than mandatory.

“In the end, we decided we’d get better uptake from the entire campus if we didn’t make it mandatory," said Dr. David Stone, chief research officer with OU. "We’ve got 3,000 students in dorms we are very worried about, but we’ve got 16,000 other students who we’re also very worried about.”

An online petition on initially criticized OU with some saying buttons are an invasion of privacy, and they would never consent to wearing them.

The faculty and staff are also being strongly urged to wear them.