CHICAGO (CBS) — The state of Indiana reported 658 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, a drop from Sunday, when the state reported 927 cases, Indiana’s second highest total since the start of the pandemic.
Two teenage brothers from northwest Indiana have developed an app to help you keep COVID numbers down.
Every app developer knows the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention.”
Jack and Sam Landmesser might want to recode that old saying. Their invention was born from their mother’s necessity.
“Our mom would come home every day after shopping, and discuss with her friends all the businesses she went to, and what protocols they were taking,” Jack said.
The 18-year-old and his 13-year-old brother thought there should be an app for that. So they got to work on their own; Safe Shopper, which was added to the Apple App Store last week.
Shoppers can add businesses to the app, and check boxes for the COVID-19 safety measures they’re taking. Are grocery stores requiring masks? Are restaurants people distanced? Are they wiping down tables?
“It’s very important just to try to help as many people as possible, and to spread this information,” Sam said.
Within a week, more than 300 people downloaded the app, inlcuding Michelle Hunt, who is especially proud, because she taught Sam in 4th grade.
She’s also especially grateful, because she’s a mom of a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old.
“I have older parents, and they help us out a lot; especially if I go back to teaching. They babysit for us, so it’s very important that we find things that are safe,” she said.
Hunt said recently hopped on the app to warn people about lax rules at a local restaurant, and saw someone else had already spread the word.
The positive reviews are helpful, too. Users have praised a grocery store on U.S. Route 41.
“We have our story, we have a contact us form,” Sam said.
He and his brother even built a website where people can ask questions and learn more about the app, but the influx of users has already brought on some new challenges.
“Our servers couldn’t really handle all the support we’ve had. So we’ve been working on it, trying to fix all the bugs we can,” Jack said.
The brothers are now working on an even better version, which will add a travel category for people trying to plan a safe trip.
Even though they live in Munster, they said anyone can use the app and add businesses in their neighborhoods.
The brothers said they’re working with Apple now to resolve a few kinks, so they can help more people.
You can still download it in the App Store, but for the time being there might be some connection issues, because of all the new users.