Donald A. Promnitz" />

The VERA app integrates some contact tracing measures with Covid screenings.

published on July 10, 2020 - 10:52 AM
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A prominent provider of health care in Fresno County has teamed up with software developers and the Fresno County Department of Public Health to create an app that can track and screen Covid-19 in students, employees and their families.

Sierra Pacific Orthopedic Center in northeast Fresno, the official provider of Fresno State athletics’ team physicians, has worked to create the mobile application called VERA. In a video conference hosted recently by Fresno County’s Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra, Sierra Pacific’s Chief Operations and Technical Officer Jeremy Ealand explained the function and purpose of the app.

“For instance, if an employee works for a certain group and somebody in the household becomes sick, we’re doing daily screenings at the door for the employee, but not necessarily family members,” Ealand said.

According to Ealand, the app helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus through early onset symptom reporting and screening. Using VERA, organizations like schools and businesses are able create a database of contacts. This then enables them to provide symptom reporting for themselves and anyone in their household.

He added that it would be especially useful with schools opening up, with Fresno Unified being the fourth largest district in California.

“How does Fresno Unified School District screen 74,000 kids a day?” Ealand said. “So we built this product within the mobile applications, and we want to be able to make it available to those organizations to use to complete that product.”

Through cooperation and support from the FCDPH, VERA was able to make it to the App Store.

“What [they] are doing is creating the framework for doing contact tracing even before somebody gets sick,” Vohra said. “And honestly, that is the best time to start contact tracing, it’s to actually do it before people get sick.”

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