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Coronavirus in West Virginia: Resident develops app to help with virus safety

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Sean Hyde has lived in West Virginia for about six years now. When the pandemic started to pick up speed and saw many of his marketing firm clients become impacted. He then decided to step in with knowledge he got from studying other parts of the world.

“Singapore and South Korea who started to have outbreaks … they had already set up these apps that would help track people but also inform the public ‘hey, right now in this neighborhood there is an outbreak maybe don’t go there’,” Hyde said.

The InPlace App was born just around a month ago and has already started gaining interest from West Virginia University as one it’s newest collaborations.

The app is powered by you at home. With the InPlace App, the more people that use it, the more helpful it will be. You can see right by the dots representing people who have signed up, the color represents their health status, anonymously.

“Should you go visit your family or should you hold off for a week or two? I think that’s where this comes really useful for people who want to make really smart decisions going forward, ” Hyde said.

Other key components of the web app are geographically based chat rooms and an option to report if you are in need of extra help.

“they can reach out to you and say ‘hey what do you need?’ privately and see if that is someone they can safely help you with,” Hyde said.

If the “neighbors-helping-neighbors” aspect doesn’t pull you in, Hyde said they are also working on gamification. Right now you can win trophies for being helpful to others in the app or even social distancing. Hyde hopes to soon turn those into coupons you can use in the real world.

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