University of Arizona launches 2-way coronavirus texting system

Apr 20, 2020, 2:45 PM | Updated: 2:52 pm

PHOENIX – The University of Arizona is launching a two-way texting system to gather information about the spread of coronavirus in the state.

The initiative, AZCOVIDTXT, asks households to sign up for the program to anonymously submit data about the weekly wellness of their residence.

“With many people isolated or sheltering in place, Arizonans now have more limited access to timely care and everyday resources such as food and medicine,” Michael Dake, senior vice president for U of A Health Sciences, said in a press release Monday.

“They may be uncertain how their community is being impacted by the pandemic.”

The program is a collaboration with the school’s Data Science Institute.

AZCOVIDTXT will also ask users about access to food, medicine, sanitary and other essential supplies as well as stress and anxiety levels in the household.

On the flip side, the system will provide users the option to receive texts with accurate information about the coronavirus.

The idea originated in late March from Dr. Sriram Iyengar about how to help provide localized data on COVID-19 in Arizona through self-reporting and real-time analysis.

The eventual goal of the project is to enroll 1 million households in the state.

To sign up, AZCOVIDTXT, Arizonans can text “JOIN” to 1-833-410-0546. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation text to reply with their zip code.

From there, they’ll receive a link to a weekly survey to submit their information.

Users can also sign up online.

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University of Arizona launches 2-way coronavirus texting system