Health screening update: Chatham implements at-home daily temperature screenings

Jorie Meil

Chatham University is entering a new phase of health screenings with the introduction of at-home screening options through the ChathamU app.

At-home screenings were introduced Oct. 29 in lieu of in-person temperature checks, although in-person screenings are still offered at limited locations on campus.

At home screenings are available on the ChathamU app.

This new method of health screening will be the primary way Chatham students will track their health in order to receive access to campus buildings and amenities.

“After reviewing and testing its capabilities within the app and learning from the campus screenings and testing results this term, we felt this was a good option to begin to offer to students,” said Dr. Ronald Giles, director of the Student Health Center and the Athletic and Fitness Center.

Here’s how it works: The health screening icon is located near the top of the homepage on the ChathamU app. Users are asked to respond to four “yes” or “no” questions about COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. 

If the answer is “no” to all questions, people will receive a virtual pass that can be used for 24 hours to access places on campus. The pass can be accessed through the app or via email. 


If the answer to any of the questions is “yes,” individuals will not be given a pass and will be referred to health services and asked to stay home.


One question asks if the person’s temperature is below 100.4 degrees. Thermometers were given out to anyone who needed one the week before widespread in-person screenings ended. Anyone who still needs a thermometer can pick one up at Student Health Services.

“It’s efficient,” said on-campus resident Dakota Catone ‘24. “It’s nice to be able to do it on my phone and easily access it. I don’t have to go to places I may not be near at the moment.”

Passes are required to gain entrance to the AFC, Café Rachel, Anderson Dining Hall and the Jennie King Mellon Library. Professors also can request to see passes during in-person classes at their discretion.

The email was sent out Nov. 2 from the University reminding students to “please be courteous to anyone asking to see the pass. They are just doing their job and following protocols.” A reminder email about the new screening procedure was sent Nov. 6.

Some Chatham community members have expressed concerns over the accuracy and merit of at-home tests. “I think that people won’t take it very seriously because it’s so easy to cheat,” said health screening staff member Alexis Taranto ‘24.

Another health screener, Nicole Gates ‘24, had similar concerns. 

“I think it will be much less effective because students will more than likely lie on the questions just to get the card,” Gates said. “It will put the campus at risk for another COVID spike, and that is not needed right now. “

However, Dr. Giles is optimistic about the integrity of the at-home screenings. 

“I truly believe that no one wants to get other people sick, and that the Chatham community is a special group of people that actually cares for each other,” he said. “Everyone has been working hard to keep us safe, and for the most part, we are doing really well as a community.”

Another concern from students about the switch is the sudden loss of job opportunities for those who worked as temperature screeners. 

“The changes to the temp screening is putting a lot of student employees at risk of losing their jobs,” Gates said. “The loss of the job is going to affect me pretty bad. In these times, everyone needs money.”

Limited in-person screenings will continue in AFC and the Office of Admissions in Berry Hall. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home, contact health services and see a medical professional.