Keeping the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to a minimum while enabling more individuals to return to work and regular life to resume is vital.
While the primary methods of reducing transmission will continue to be social distance and washing hands and surfaces, technology companies and their partners, such as UK-based CCTV and access control specialist Ecl-ips, have been developing various solutions to enforce new rules and assist in the return to work.
Elevated body temperature (EBT) is one of the indications of coronavirus (COVID-19), which is why many CCTV and other technology companies are promoting EBT detection. Then then, each of these technologies must be properly evaluated.
“Temperature-based screening (such as thermal imaging) does not help determine whether someone has COVID-19 conclusively because, among other reasons, a person with COVID-19 does not necessarily have a fever,” according to the FDA. To ascertain whether someone has COVID-19,” a diagnostic test must be conducted.
Thermal imaging devices have been demonstrated to be inaccurate when used to measure numerous people’s temperatures simultaneously, says the FDA. For these systems to be accurate, they need to be set up and operated with care and the subject being assessed having been properly prepared.
As long as you keep in mind that a person’s temperature is best taken in the canthus, located just behind their eyeball, these devices are still very successful. In locations such as the foyer of a building where employees return to work or at an airport where passengers wait in line, these systems may enable remote monitoring utilising a camera.
When a person’s body temperature deviates from normal, the EBT systems may provide an audible or visual alert. This might prompt someone in a line to step ahead of them and guarantee that they get further medical screening.
As part of their remote access control solutions, companies are now supplying temperature screening terminals, which can deny entry to those with raised body temperatures and those who aren’t wearing face masks, for example.
Are thermal cameras part of the solution?
Avigilon H4 Thermal Elevated Temperature Detection from Motorola Solutions, a North American and Canadian company, is now available. Edge-based analytics are included in the thermal camera to identify faces and alert operators when their skin temperature rises. According to the company, using Avigilon’s pre-screening technology, facilities and their employees may be kept secure.
According to a press release, Amazon has purchased more than 1,115 thermal cameras throughout the globe, as well as Heathrow Airport and Bournemouth Airport, which are both experimenting with the technology.
Monitoring solutions for occupancy counting and social distancing
Avigilon is one of the CCTV companies promoting social distancing solutions based on video monitoring. People entering buildings may be counted using the integrated analytics included within the cameras. This permits the use of outside signs to prevent congestion and the consequent social separation that comes with it. Retail parks and the High Street have reopened in the UK since mid-June, and these solutions may be used outside supermarkets and other retailers.
Additional inbuilt analytics have been added to the H5A camera by Avigilon to detect social distancing violations. Incorporating this system with an audio warning to individuals engaged if these violations are avoided.
Additionally, it may be used to show individuals in charge of commercial spaces or other facilities, such as schools or healthcare facilities, where there may be traffic jams when people return to work and attempt to maintain social distance. There are many ways that managers might make modifications inside the structures, such as limiting the number of individuals allowed to travel in one direction via a hallway.
Face mask or face covering detection
In the UK, hospital workers are required to wear face masks, and the public is required to cover their faces in public places such as shops, banks, post offices, and eateries, as well as while visiting a hospital as a patient or visitor.
Face recognition technology has also been developed to identify when facial coverings are not being utilised to meet these types of criteria. When paired with audio warnings, such as those given upon entry to a healthcare facility, this may help to increase adherence rates. Additionally, reports showing the level of compliance achieved by the systems may be provided.
Access control solutions: Occupancy Management and Remote Monitoring
COVID-19 transmission may be minimised by limiting the amount of physical contact required between persons entering facilities.
The Net2.v6.04 upgrade from the UK access control manufacturer Paxton now includes an occupancy management feature that allows employers or building managers to limit the number of people in any given area – either barring access or sending an email/text to the manager when a space nears capacity. Net2.v6.04 is now available for download from the Paxton website.
If necessary, it may be configured to function on a one-in, one-out basis to aid social isolation. If its partner installers so want, Paxton has also promised upgrades to Net2 that will enable the integration of thermal scanners.
Remote monitoring is now safer and more effective than ever, thanks to Paxton’s previous update, released in May. Remotely managing access control across several companies or educational campuses may now be done more efficiently, thanks to new capabilities.
To reduce the frequency of on-site visits, Net2online and its Paxton Connect smartphone app provide site management via a web browser. Both Paxton Connect and Net2Online, are available on iOS and Android devices and may be accessed over the internet.
Contact tracing capability
When integrated with Avigilon Control Center (ACC), ACM’s contact tracking capabilities in commercial and educational settings are possible. ACM is an access control management solution from Avigilon.
For example, an infected employee at a distribution centre may have to self-isolate. The ACM system may provide an identity correlation report that can be used to identify doors that have been accessed by the employee and the date and time of that access since contaminated handles might represent a danger of transmission. Managers or security employees at the site can utilise this data. After then, any other employees who entered or left the building within the same period as the employee might be reached.
Also, anybody in the building who may have interacted with the employee may be tracked using the CCTV system. The infected employee will be easier to identify if the user has an ACC system that includes an identity or appearance search.
There is no complete solution
Businesses and other organisations looking to get more staff back to work while ensuring their employees and customers are kept safe and follow the rules are right to consider technological solutions. Advanced apps to help with appointment-making and the huge increase in video conferencing demonstrate that innovation is everywhere.
However, in an attempt to show that they are trying to keep staff safe as they return to work, organisations need to understand that, especially with detection of the disease, there is nothing that will prove to be 100 per cent accurate. The test for coronavirus itself has shown to provide false-negative results, even when the common symptoms are present.
Therefore, expensive detection systems may not be appropriate in all cases. If you invest in them, you must know what the next steps will be; for example, they could be additional health screening, blocking entry or simply an audible warning.
Using CCTV technology can certainly be effective for counting people and detecting social distancing and facial coverings,, but acting on this knowledge will make the system effective.
In all cases, organisations must understand that the use of CCTV cameras for any purpose needs to be considered carefully in respect of data protection and privacy. To meet your GDPR requirements, you must have considered if the use of CCTV is the best way to meet the purpose you have identified, and, in all cases, clear signposting is required.
Ecl-ips is a Paxton and Avigilon partner and can provide advice on the range of solutions they can provide. It seems it is the right time to invest in technology to manage the risks presented by COVID-19 and the return to work but invest wisely to get the result you want for your organisation.