Coronavirus Important Updates

SaferMe App Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is contact tracing and how does it work?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers contact tracing an important tool in identifying contacts of people who have an infectious disease and working with them to interrupt disease transmission. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, contact tracing aims to identify individuals within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes in the 48-hour period before they develop symptoms and during their symptomatic period before they are isolated. 

Seton Hill University personnel have undergone extensive training in contact tracing protocols and procedures and are required to follow all privacy regulations outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Health Services and Contact Tracing team at Seton Hill work to isolate positive individuals and identify and quarantine their contacts so that testing and symptom monitoring can occur. 

Q: Why does Seton Hill University need to do contact tracing with an app?

A: Contact tracing is a key component of Seton Hill University’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among campus community members during the pandemic.

Throughout the fall semester, Seton Hill Health Services and the Contact Tracing Team have relied on manual efforts to conduct contact tracing. These efforts include interviewing those individuals who test positive – or are presumed positive – for COVID-19 and asking them about contact they had with others in the 48 hours before they became symptomatic. 

Since these traditional contact tracing methods rely on the memories of individuals, Seton Hill has been investigating the ways that contact tracing technology could help with this difficult yet important task. After reviewing products from more than a dozen companies and conducting extensive testing, Seton Hill will use the SaferMe app to assist with our contact tracing efforts. 

Through the use of technology, Seton Hill will be better equipped to identify all contacts and help us continue to conduct classes in a face-to-face setting.

Q: How does SaferMe gather information? 

A: The SaferMe app provides for accurate contact tracing via the mobile device’s built-in Bluetooth system. The SaferMe app records the proximity and length of time a mobile user’s device is near another user’s mobile device. The application requests access to your GPS. This provides proximity contact tracing as well if Bluetooth would fail to make a connection.

The location of that contact is never reported. SaferMe and Seton Hill University never store or access location data about any user.

The SaferMe app also provides a daily health self-evaluation questionnaire, which helps Seton Hill community members complete their required daily self-screening.

Q: What will Seton Hill University know about me? 

A: Once you sign up for the university SaferMe service, high-level system administrators from the Seton Hill University Office of Health Services can see your name, email address, and the number of contacts between your mobile device and another university user’s mobile device that is using the SaferMe app. The length of exposure time is also viewable.

SaferMe never stores or accesses location data about any user on either iPhone or Android platforms and does not have access to location data for iPhone users who have the GPS function turned off. The service only identifies who you have been in close proximity to for the specified period of time. All transmitted data is fully encrypted. 

When a campus community member tests positive for COVID-19, Seton Hill’s Health Services and Contact Tracing teams will use the proximity and length of time information provided through the SaferMe app to then personally contact all of those individuals with whom the positive individual came into contact with during their contagious period. 

For more information see: https://stay.setonhill.edu/contact-tracing

Q: How will data be secured? 

A: The data is encrypted when in transit from the mobile device to the SaferMe service.

Individual personal information is encrypted by a unique key for each user. All personal information is also anonymized by default and is GDPR compliant. Deletion of a key deletes all personal information. 

Q: What will happen to this data?

A: Data older than 42 days is automatically deleted. The SaferMe service and app meets strict guidelines for data security, handling and deletion by the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A GDPR-certified vendor ensures that data is secure during transmission, encrypted and/or anonymized as much as possible while stored by the vendor, is not shared by third-party entities, and is erased upon completion of a contract. These guidelines provide greater privacy protections than are required in the United States.  

Q: Where can I learn more about SaferMe and data privacy/security?

A: Please note the documentation titled “Data, Privacy and Security at SaferMe.

Q: Who is required to download the SaferMe app?

A: All Seton Hill University students, faculty, and staff are required to participate in contract tracing as part of Seton Hill University’s Return to Campus Plan as we operate in a face-to-face model for the 2020-21 academic year.

As part of the Social Contract, all Seton Hill students are required to download the SaferMe app. We are strongly encouraging all faculty and staff to download the app at this time. 

Q: What if a student does not download SaferMe?

A: The Social Contract students signed prior to the start of the 2020-21 academic year requires students to download a contract tracing app to their mobile device if and when it becomes available. Violations of the Social Contract may result in removal from campus and/or disciplinary action. All violations of the Social Contract are adjudicated through the University’s conduct process.

Q: How do I download and access SaferMe?

Please follow these steps to download and use the SaferMe App. Instructions are also available at https://stay.setonhill.edu/SMInstall

  1. Download SaferMe from your mobile device’s app store 
  2. Open the app, click on “Login via SSO” and enter this ID: setonhill
  3. Sign in using your Seton Hill email address and your MySHU password.