Coronavirus tips: City launches 'Chi COVID Coach' mobile app for resources, health updates amid pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- City officials launched a new mobile app Monday designed to support Chicago residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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City officials launched a new mobile app Monday, designed to support Chicago residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.



The app, named "Chi COVID Coach", was built in partnership with Google and MTX and it will allow CDPH to communicate directly with Chicago residents who may be COVID-19 positive or experiencing symptoms, providing them with important information and guidance.

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"It will provide individualized text messages with COVID-19 advice, offer daily check-ins form those who have COVID symptoms and connect people with testing resources," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

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The app, which can only be downloaded on the city's website, will also serve as a pre-registration for a vaccine when one becomes available months down the line.

"We are already building our plans to vaccinate the whole city of Chicago and working with others across the region on a major plan for this," said Chicago Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Allison Arwady.

But Dr. Arwady said pre-registering does not mean you'll be first in line for a vaccine. She said those decisions will be based on public health prioritization.

While the app was built in partnership with Google, the city promises any information submitted on the app will be kept private.

"This is only accessible to the Chicago Dept of Public Health," Dr. Arwady said. "No plans for Google, for example, to be able to collect that information."

While the city said the app is the first of its kind for now, it is not equipped for contact tracing, where public health officials work with a patient to identify who they have had close contact with during their timeframe of infection.

"We definitely think technology plays some role in this and in fact the app very well may be a piece of that so, it's on our list as an example of a modification we are exploring," Dr. Arwady said.

And while the city touts it new app, residents are looking ahead at what summer will look like.

Mayor Lightfoot said Monday she has no plans of opening up the lakefront to two-person boating. As for baseball, she believes the Cubs and Sox will play, but without fans.

Residents can download the app at www.Chicago.gov/covidcoach.

For more information about the latest data, residents are encouraged to visit www.Chicago.gov/coronavirus.
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