PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Regional health officials unveiled a ‘symptom checker’ tool for COVID-19 at a Thursday afternoon press conference.
The tool allows for “the right patient to be taken care of in the right place at the right time,” Dr. Ritu Sahni, the EMS Medical Director for Clackamas and Washington counties said.
The idea is that the tool will prevent people from exposure by having them avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
“It would allow for patients to stay out of the 911 system if they don’t need to be there,” Sahni said.
Dr. Jennifer Vines said she is looking at the tool as preparation for a wave of illness that could come in late April or early May.
“I’m excited to have this in our toolkit,” Vines said.
As for whether health officials will use the data collected from the tool to see where hotspots for infection are, they said they will have to wait and see.
“This is a new tool and we’ll just have to see what kind of data we get, and what the quality of the data is,” Sahni said.
Lt. Rich Chatman with Portland Fire & Rescue, who was also at the health briefing, said the tool is still a work in progress.