Automate Schools COVID Contact Tracing Process on Google Workspace

January 11, 20220 CommentHow-To , zenphi Use Cases

It’s been a little over two years since our lives have been impacted by Coronavirus. It has impacted the way we live, the way we work, the way we communicate. Most companies and schools were well positioned to transition to fully digital a lot faster, thanks to platforms like Google Workspace.

However, the Covid situation has also created a whole new set of challenges for our operations. For example someone at school may test positive for Covid. You probably have to have a process in place for Covid contact tracing. It means you need to identify the day that person tested positive, find out all the classes that person attended on that day and all other students who were in those classes, and notify them (or their parents). You may also have to notify the teachers of those classes as well.  As part of the contact tracing process you will also want to keep record of all the information. 

Addressing these operational challenges using traditional ways of working, i.e. relying on manual work, is not a sustainable solution, and in some cases, it’s not possible at all. Imagine having to do the contract tracing for a school of a few thousand students manually, everyday. You would require quite a few people to do this mundane task and it would be very error prone as well. 

But thanks to technologies like Google Sheets, Google Forms, and no-code process automation platform like zenphi, you can easily automate this process and put it on autopilot.

In this post I show you how some of our users are using these technologies to automate their Covid Contact Tracing process.

Summary of the Covid Contact Tracing Process

So here is a summary of the process when a student is tested positive: 

Report a student information and the day he/she tested positive

This is done using a Using Google Forms.


Find out all the classes that person has attended on the day he/she tested positive

We have a Google Sheet which includes all the classes for a specific date and also all the attendance for those classes. We use this Sheet to look up the classes the reported person attended.


Identify all the students and teachers in those classes 

We use the same Sheet as the one we used in step 2, to look up all other students from the identified classes.


Notify all the people identified as close contact in step 3

We use Gmail to send an email to the students (or their parents) and teachers identified in step 3. We use another Google Sheet to keep track of these contacts and communications.


Notify the administrator

Using Gmail we notify the school administrator(s) and all other required parties from the school.


Above was a summary of the process. Please note that you can change this as per your requirements. Now let’s see how we can automate this process using zenphi.

Automate the Covid Contact Tracing Process Using Zenphi

First we need to create Google Forms which starts the zenphi flow. The form looks like this:

When the form is submitted, we generate a new case number for the case, and a new Google Folder to store all documents which are related to the case.

We then use the Lookup Google Sheet Row action to identify all the classes the specified student attended on that date.


Once that’s done, we create a new Google Sheet Spreadsheet in the case folder. We use this Sheet to save all information related to the case. 

Once the spreadsheet is created, we create two new Sheets there; one for storing information of the student who tested positive, and one for storing all close contact information.

The next step is to query the Google Sheets to identify all the students who have attended the same class as the reported student on that date. We use the Google Sheets Lookup Rows action for this. We use the result of this action as an input for Google Sheets Add Rows action to add all those students to the Sheet we created for this case.

The next step is to get the school admin approval and then send out the communication to the identified close contacts.

And that’s it. As you can see, with just a few drag and drops you can easily automate your school’s Covid contact tracing process. 

If you need help with automating this process please book a time with one of our process automation experts and they will be more than happy to help you automate this process.

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