Gary Community Investments Launches COVIDCheck Colorado to Help Employers Get Access to Rapid COVID-19 Testing, Symptom Tracking and Contact Tracing
Announces Partnership with Aurora Public Schools to Make Free Testing Available to All Teachers Every Two Weeks
June 14, 2020- Gary Community Investments, which includes Gary Community Investments Company and The Piton Foundation, today announced the launch of COVIDCheck Colorado, a social benefit enterprise created to help Coloradans navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, get back to school and work safely, and reopen Colorado’s economy.
In collaboration with a variety of public health leaders and partners, COVIDCheck Colorado provides employers a comprehensive approach to fast, accurate and affordable COVID-19 testing, symptom tracking and contact tracing tools as a key component of their health and safety plans to reopen.
COVIDCheck Colorado provides an integrated platform where employees can sign up for a regularly scheduled appointment to get tested for COVID-19 at a designated site and receive rapid results. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a phone call from a telehealth provider who will offer support and guidance on self-isolation. As required by law, all positive cases will be reported to local public health agencies and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Those who have been exposed to the virus will be notified in accordance with the state’s contact tracing protocol and health privacy practices.
Additionally, COVIDCheck Colorado also makes it possible for all individuals, students and staff to regularly track and report symptoms through a HIPAA-compliant downloadable app. Employers have access to a dashboard displaying their organization’s test results and symptom data to help stop potential outbreaks before they start.
As part of its launch, Gary Community Investments announced a partnership with Aurora Public Schools (APS) in an effort to support a safe return to in-person teaching and learning opportunities in the fall.
“At Gary Community Investments we’ve always been focused on providing opportunity to those who need it most,” said Gary Community Investments CEO Mike Johnston. “Right now schools need a comprehensive approach to COVID-19 testing, symptom tracking and contact tracing because that, combined with other health and safety practices, gives them the best chance at safely reopening, protecting staff and students, re-engaging those who benefit most from in-person learning, and restoring families' ability to return to work."
The use of COVIDCheck Colorado makes Aurora the first large school district in the state to provide regular and ongoing COVID-19 testing for all instructional staff. Each teacher will have access to testing every two weeks, with timely return of tests to assure accuracy and safety.
“APS’ Return-to-School Plan was based upon the best advice of district, local and national health professionals,” said Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn. “We know that regular testing for COVID-19 and contact tracing will be a powerful tool for Aurora Public Schools in the coming months. As a district, we have developed school plans that allow us to re-engage in rigorous instruction while also protecting the health and safety of our staff, students and community. In the spirit of this shared commitment, we are grateful for the partnership with Gary Community Investments to make this aggressive testing program possible,” Munn added.
“The health and safety plans that APS has committed to demonstrate the kind of leadership and compassion that all Coloradans need right now,” said Johnston. “We’re honored to support their efforts to provide the most exceptional learning experience for their students and the highest levels of safety for their staff. We stand ready to support others across the state who want to reopen the doors of opportunity that have been closed to the most vulnerable since before this crisis began,” Johnston added.
About COVIDCheck Colorado
COVIDCheck Colorado is a social benefit enterprise of Gary Community Investments Company, which is part of the Gary Community Investments umbrella organization. It represents a philanthropic health consortium whose mission is to help Coloradans navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and get back to their community safely. COVIDCheck Colorado complements organizations' strategies to reopen by providing access to accurate and affordable COVID-19 testing, symptom tracking and contact tracing tools to help Coloradans safely return to school, work and daily life. COVIDCheck Colorado works in accordance with guidelines from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as well as an advisory board of public health leaders and HIPAA-compliant partners.
About Gary Community Investments
Gary Community Investments, which includes the Delaware public benefit corporation known as the Gary Community Investments Company and The Piton Foundation, invests in for-profit and philanthropic solutions for Colorado’s low-income children and their families. It was founded by Denver oilman Sam Gary with the belief that business and philanthropy can—and should—work together to create opportunities for those who need it most. Gary Community Investments is committed to investing in quality early childhood and youth development systems, expanding sustainable economic opportunities, and developing and supporting programs that create healthy family and community environments. By aligning all of our assets with our mission, we make creative investments that not only yield a financial return, but can also improve the lives of Colorado’s children.
About Aurora Public Schools
Aurora Public Schools is the fifth largest school district in Colorado. APS serves approximately 40,000 students and includes over 60 schools. It is one of the most diverse districts in the state with students from more than 130 countries who speak over 160 languages. Over the past several years, APS has made noteworthy improvements in graduation rates, dropout rates and overall student growth and achievement. In fact, since 2013, APS graduation rates have increased by nearly 25%. During that same period of time, its dropout rate has sharply declined from 4.8% to 2.6%. APS 2020 is the district's strategic plan, which includes three strategic goals: 1) Every APS student will have a plan for his or her future, 2) Every student will have a set of skills to implement his or her plan and 3) Every student will have credentials that open doors. It is the district's vision that every student shapes a successful future.