‘That responsibility falls on us’

Graphic by Astrid Hernandez | Mercury Staff


UTD is now providing an option for students to take the Daily Health Check through text message.

On September 14, students received an email asking them to indicate their Daily Health Check communication preference. They can now choose between receiving the health checks as emails or text messages.

The Daily Health Check is part of the university’s coronavirus response and requires students to indicate whether they or any of their close contacts are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 on days that they plan to come to campus. Schools across the country including Arizona State University and Ohio State University are taking similar measures to ensure student safety. Amanda Smith, dean of students and associate vice president for student affairs, explained the importance of completing the health check.

“We use the Daily Health Check information to help identify students who report a positive test, symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19,” Smith said. “The goal is to keep potentially positive students from spreading the virus on campus.”

Computer science freshman Ankita Kerpal said she recognizes the health checks’ role in managing coronavirus cases on campus.

“As a student who is completely online this year, [the Daily Health Checks] can get a bit tedious and annoying, but it is also a good way to track students’ health and whether they show symptoms of COVID-19,” Kerpal said. “It really does show how seriously UTD is taking this and it really reflects on the cases we have had so far as we don’t have many compared to other universities I’ve seen.”

Freshman computer science major Yash Hooda said he believes the health check requirement needs to be taken more seriously.

“I really feel like [the Daily Health Checks] are not helping with preventing the spread of COVID-19 around campus because many students tend to forget about it and ignore the emails before leaving their houses and dorms and venturing outside,” Hooda said.

Not completing the Daily Health Check can be considered a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Smith said that students who do not adhere to standards may be referred to the Office of Community Standards and Conduct and face disciplinary action.

“This is such an easy way to contribute to the health and safety of our Comet Family,” Smith said. “It literally takes seconds to complete the form, and then you have the satisfaction of knowing you are in this fight with us and doing your part. In an effort to keep Comets united, healthy and safe, that responsibility falls on all of us.”