As businesses throughout the country reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, many of them are juggling a slew of requirements meant to keep their staff and customers safe. Some are operating using COVID-19 best practices recommended by the CDC, while others can only be open if they closely follow mandates passed by their states.
Besides social distancing and mask-wearing, one of the most common requirements is body temperature scanning. A large number of businesses are already requiring regular temperature checks for staff members as a way to identify individuals who may be ill and are showing symptoms.
Temperature checks will likely soon be required for more than staff in many places, however. In May, the Event Safety Alliance visualized what concerts would look like once venues were allowed to reopen. In addition to sanitizing surfaces, requiring masks, and staggering lines for entry, their reopening safety guidelines included body temperature scanning for all patrons.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to implementing a body temperature scanning system at your place of business. Here’s what you need to know as you research the best way to keep employees and visitors safe and healthy.
The Pros and Cons of Body Temperature Scanning and Automated Temperature Screening
The first thing to consider when it comes to automated temperature scanning is the pros and cons of implementing this system as a COVID-19 health screening technique. While thermal cameras for businesses are an excellent tool, it’s important to know that they’re not foolproof. Recent reports suggest that as much as 40% of people infected with the coronavirus may be asymptomatic. In addition, there are conditions besides an illness that can cause an elevated body temperature, potentially causing healthy people to be flagged unnecessarily.
This doesn’t mean that body temperature scanning shouldn’t be used at all; it simply means that it should be used together with other COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies. Just like having a business evacuation plan or other emergency plans in place, it’s essential to have multiple systems for monitoring for the virus, keeping spaces sanitized and people spaced apart, and taking action should someone test positive.
Automated temperature screening can be one of many tools in a business’s COVID-19 toolbox. There are many pros to body temperature scanning from afar. First of all, it’s fast – enabling you to scan people quickly in short succession. Second, it can be done remotely and doesn’t require a staff member to approach with a handheld forehead thermometer, potentially exposing themselves or the person being scanned. Finally, because it’s digital, the data can be stored and/or sent to key team members.
Which Temperature Screening Kiosks Are Right For Your Business?
As business owners work through the maze of COVID-19 security concerns, they may feel as if they’re facing an information overload. This is definitely the case when looking at the sheer number of body temperature scanning devices that have become available on the market in recent months.
As discussed above, handheld temperature scanners require a staff member to approach each person being scanned. In addition to putting them in proximity to each person, this method can be slow and inefficient.
Thermal camera systems are another solution. Placed in an entryway, they allow a large number of visitors to be scanned in a short amount of time. There are various types of thermal camera systems available depending on the number of individuals you will need to scan at once.
Temperature screening kiosks are an excellent body temperature scanning solution for businesses looking for a small, portable, cost-effective, and automated solution. The 98.6 Labs kiosk, for example, is minimalist, modern, and small enough to fit in nearly any lobby or entryway. Affordable and easily installed, they’re perfect for businesses that need to implement body temperature scanning in multiple locations.
Once a 98.6Kiosk is installed, it’s touchless and automatic. When an individual approaches it and pauses in front of the screen, it takes their temperature within one second. It’s accurate within half a degree and registers an immediate pass (green) or fail (red) indicator. The 98.6Kiosk’s face mask recognition software means that no one needs to unmask while getting scanned. These plug-and-play temperature screening kiosks are not only easy to set up; they’re also user friendly for everyone getting scanned.
Remotely Aggregating Employee Data
As discussed above, keeping things safe for employees and visitors not only depends on the careful scanning of all staff and guests; it also requires careful record-keeping. As you use thermal cameras to battle COVID-19 in your business, you’ll also want to keep track of anyone who shows symptoms in order to ensure proper followup. Aggregating employee data will help you track worrisome trends and know where your organization stands in terms of health and temperature screenings.
This might include alerting management to talk with the individual to determine if the temperature reading was a fluke or if there is another reason for the elevated reading (drinking a hot beverage, a sunburn, or another reason). It may also involve requiring the individual to take a rapid test or go home until they receive a COVID-19 from a medical professional.
The 98.6Kiosk features an optional high-temperature alarm; for privacy reasons, some businesses opt to turn the alarm off. Even with it disabled, the system can send high-temperature alert notifications to key staff and leadership via text message and email. In addition, the system can create Excel-compatible screening reports, enabling your team to keep track of temperature scans on any given day or over time throughout the business.
Implementing Health Screening Software
In addition to body temperature scanning, a large number of organizations are implementing health screening software to help them monitor the health and safety of everyone who comes through their doors. These systems are being implemented everywhere from doctors’ offices to office buildings. Like any high tech business security system, a health screening system should be easy for all parties to use remotely and easy to pull data from.
One excellent example of health screening software is 98.6 Labs myEntry Pass. For businesses that require staff to answer a coronavirus symptom questionnaire before gaining entry, myEntry Pass sends them an automated questionnaire to answer on their mobile device. If the person passes, they are granted a digital pass to display in order to be allowed entry. This cuts down on the potential for long lines being created by employees filling out questionnaires or being questioned as they enter the building.
(To view a demo of myEntry Pass, click here.)
While the post-coronavirus world is one that’s filled with twists and turns for business owners, there is an increasing number of tools available to help them navigate it. From the myriad of rules and regulations to deciding to take personal responsibility to keep each of their staff members, customers, and visitors safe while on property, there are many different strategies business owners have to consider when it comes to COVID-19 safety.
In addition to masking and social distancing, body temperature scanning may be one of the most common strategies that staff and customers will notice business owners implementing throughout the country. Body temperature scanners aren’t one-size-fits-all, however. By taking careful consideration of the size of your business and how you’ll need to implement scanning and data collection, you’ll be able to determine the solution that fits your business best.
Whatever solution you choose, ensure that all health screening software – from body temperature scanning to questionnaires – is used consistently and without exception. In addition, institute a followup process that is followed to the letter. While body temperature scanning isn’t 100%, when it’s used with an entire suite of coronavirus mitigation tools, it can help ensure that your workplace is safe for all who walk through its doors.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.