July 31, 2020

Dear Students,

We are looking forward to being together with you in Sewanee soon!

As you have heard in the COVID-19 communications this summer, in order to #ProtectTheBubble, it is essential that we all practice the three W’s (wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance) and only leave campus when it is absolutely essential.

An additional responsibility this semester will be daily health self-screenings for COVID-19 symptoms. All students are required to confirm that they have performed a self-screening check to help prevent community spread of the virus. All faculty and staff are required to perform similar daily screening.

If you do have symptoms or feel sick, you should reach out to Health Services immediately

So how WILL daily health screening work?

We’ve made it as simple and efficient as possible. On Monday, Aug. 3, you will receive an email from our partner BaseCamp Health with directions for downloading their Ascend app. The app will go live on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Starting then, all students who plan to be on campus should begin logging daily health self-screenings to get into the habit of using the app—even before you return to campus. 

Every morning, you will simply answer a few health questions, take your temperature and then record it in the app. It’s that simple! After you receive your “checkmark” for the day, you’ll be able to use that to move about campus as you enter classroom spaces, the dining halls, and other buildings. All students and employees are required to complete this daily wellness screening and receive their “checkmark” prior to engaging with others on campus. 

What if I forget?

Don’t worry—the app sends each user a reminder to complete the daily screening process.

It is imperative that you are honest and forthright in your daily self-screenings (and that you do them every day!). This is one of many important ways to help keep us all safe, healthy, and together on the Mountain this semester. If it is discovered that you have either deliberately not completed your daily screenings or have been dishonest about your data (i.e. reported false temperatures), and are, therefore, not in compliance with the interim health and safety policies, you may be asked to leave campus and complete your semester remotely.

What about HIPAA and privacy?

The Ascend platform keeps data protected, in accordance with the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Remember to be on the lookout for the email from BaseCamp Health about the Ascend app on Monday. Let me know if you have any questions.


Parker Oliver, C'89, P'16, P'20
Associate Vice President
Marketing & Communications