“Your COVID-19 Risk” tool

Do you always keep 1.5 metres distance from others in public spaces? Do you visit your friends? And when exactly do you wash your hands? As there is no vaccine or medicine yet, governments are implementing strict behavioural measures to limit the devastating effects of the novel coronavirus. Changing our own behaviour is currently the most effective means that we have at our disposal. However, adherence to these rules of behaviour is not always easy.

Helping people improve their behaviour to reduce their risk of contracting the coronavirus. That is the goal of the international online tool ‘Your COVID-19 Risk’, which was launched last week. The tool calculates the user’s risk to contract or spread the virus. Based on their risk, users receive advice and support in the necessary behavioural change. This way, they can minimize the risk to themselves and their loved ones.

Insights from behavioural science were used in developing the tool. Previously existing tools, did not yet provide fine-grained insight into why exactly people sometimes fail to adhere to the guidelines. However, this information is required to achieve behaviour change. The results of the anonymously completed questionnaires will also be shared with (inter)national governments and healthcare organisations to advise them on the best measures, both nationally and internationally. The more users fill in the tool, the better the advice. This will enable governments and healthcare organisations to continuously improve and adapt their measures and messages to the general public.

The tool was developed by a group of 150 volunteers from 35 countries, ranging from behavioural scientists, epidemiologists, virologists to web designers. The project was initiated and coordinated by Sylvia Roozen (Maastricht University) and Gjalt-Jorn Peters (Open University). Also several CAPHRI researchers were involved. Thomas Gültzow was involved in both the German and Dutch teams of experts, Rik Crutzen was part of the core team developing the whole intervention, Adriana Solovei was part of the Romanian team (all RL Promoting Health and Personalised Care), and Stan Vluggen (RL Ageing and Long-Term Care) leads the Dutch team of experts.

Last week, the tool was launched in Dutch. Following a staggered rollout approach, the other 34 countries covering a total of 28 languages will be launched in the upcoming days.

The tool is available at: www.your-covid-19-risk.com

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