How Universal Contact Tracing can assist organisations when reopening workplaces
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, private and public sector leaders are now faced with the complexity of reopening workplaces.
Central to this is creating a safe working environment so that employees can be physically present – particularly those that cannot work remotely. In this area, contact tracing designed for workplace deployment can make a significant contribution.
Why Contact Tracing?
Contact tracing is a tried and trusted approach employed to prevent the spread of infection. Commonly perceived to be a national level undertaking, technological advancements now mean that notiria is able to provide a solution suitable specifically for organisations to deploy within their workplace(s).
Suitable for large organisation the solution operates independently of personal devices such as smartphones which can be unreliable (see “Why Smart phone tech seems to be failing” below). Furthermore, it can be quickly deployed by non-technical staff.
- Contact tracing is a proven method to avert the spread of infections.
- It is highly visible, so a good means for organisations to reassure employees that their well-being is being taken seriously.
- It can reduce COVID-19 self-isolation number, minimising business impact
- It can compliment other initiatives. For example, by pinpointing an area where the virus may be present, special cleaning arrangements can be applied.
The Cost of Doing Nothing
Without meaningful intelligence, the impact of a COVID outbreak on organisations can be substantial as demonstrated at a sandwich making factory in Northampton (which was a supplier to a leading high street food retailer).
Initially, the outbreak was reported as 13 cases of Covid-19, with 100 employees needing to self-isolate. However, within a short period of time the factory was forced to close for two weeks, with more than 2,100 people going into self-isolation.
How It Works
- Employees are issued with simple Bluetooth-enabled badges, key-rings or wristbands.
- When a device comes within close proximity to another, a record is made of the “encounter”, which is uploaded regularly to a secure, central database.
- Responsible, appointed delegates can retrospectively trace the movements of anyone that develops symptoms and alert those they have encountered of exposure and precautionary measures.
- Rooms that affected people have occupied can be designated for disinfection and deep cleaning, minimising disruption.
Why Smart phone tech seems to be failing
- Legacy hardware is unable to run the necessary apps
- People may not own a smartphone or simply refuse to use one
- Tracing data and administration may be centralised and unavailable to organisations.
- Proven industry-standard hardware
- Incorporates secure networks (LoRaWAN®), data management systems and dashboards
- Rapid delivery (i.e. days)
- GDPR compliant / no PII information is stored
- Data delivery regulated to ensure delivery to only the right people at the right time
- Secure database – searchable, auditable and available for trend analytics.
Getting the balance between privacy and safety is extremely important and that is why contact data is anonymised and can be deciphered by appointed delegates. Consequently, organisations can reassure employees that it is not being employed as a means of “snooping”.
Universal Contact Tracing is one of many solutions notiria provides to help organisations with the challenge of COVID-19, including assistance with:
- people movement, preserving social distancing and mitigating areas of over crowding
- their office space design, incorporating immerging best practices such as “The 6 feet rule”
- environmental safety measures such as monitoring air quality, filtration, etc.
- office hygiene and cleaning practices
- monitoring staff well-being.