New York launches online COVID-19 tool aimed at high-risk groups

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — A new online tool has been launched to help high-risk individuals protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus.

The New York State Office for the Aging, the Association on Aging in New York, and BellAge, Inc., partnered to launch the CV19 CheckUp. The statewide tool will be free, anonymous, and personalized to each user. The tool was specifically designed for high-risk New Yorkers, including older adults, low-income individuals, ethnic and racial minorities, and LGBTQ communities

According to NYSOFA, the tool is programmed to evaluate an individual’s risk associated with COVID-19 based on behaviors and life situations.

“There has been a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 and the risks associated with contracting and spreading the virus,” said NYSOFA Acting Director Greg Olsen. “This tool, which we will make available to all New Yorkers, helps individuals understand their risk based on their life situation and personal behavior and offers recommendations to reduce those risks while also connecting people to services, if needed.”

CV19 CheckUp, developed by BellAge, employs artificial intelligence to analyze users based on the completion of an online questionnaire. Algorithms are driven by data from the CDC and WHO.

Questions include the individuals beliefs on their own risks regarding COVID-19, demographics, living situations, social behaviors, “safe behaviors,” such as mask wearing and social distancing and individual needs.

“CV19 CheckUp was developed to fill an urgent public need,” stated Chief Innovation Officer at BellAge, Inc., Jim Firman. “Our team realized that although there are many resources with information about the virus, all of them require a lot of effort by the user. The average person has to spend considerable time on numerous websites, digging through pages of information looking for answers that are relevant to their specific situation. CV19 CheckUp does the work for them.”

The online tool delivers a personalized report following the questionnaire answering questions such as:

  • The likelihood of getting COVID-19 and spreading to others
  • The severity of the case if the user were to contract COVID-19
  • Steps to reducing risks of contracting COVID-19
  • Where specific needs can be met during a pandemic

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