Corporations, businesses, and facilities are reopening their doors and ramping up operations. But to do so safely, they must have the best possible protocols and technology in place to adequately screen visitors for COVID-19 exposure and its symptoms in order to protect the health and safety of everyone in their buildings.
Below we’ve laid out guidelines and actions to take for keeping workplaces safe, including specific ways that automated visitor management systems such as LobbyGuard® Visitor Management solutions can help you protect your workers, contractors, and visitors.
Why Automated Visitor Management—Especially Now
Error-prone, insecure paper-and-pen sign-in logs are being eliminated in favor of automated visitor management systems that offer a layer of property and personal security, help ensure regulatory compliance, and offer a bottom-line cost savings to corporations. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, automated visitor management systems—and LobbyGuard Visitor Management in particular—are being seen as essential tools for companies to safeguard their employees and workplaces from a new and potentially deadly threat, as well as facilitate contact tracing when positive cases are identified
Modifying Entry Policies in Response to COVID-19
Modifying your entry protocols to include the use of an automated visitor management system and adopting the policies outlined below will help you maintain a safe work environment as you reopen and reoccupy.
- Ask every visitor to complete a pre-screening questionnaire via email, text, or phone, at least 24 hours in advance of their visit. Although every facility should adhere to state and local health guidelines regarding screening questions, your pre-screening visitor questionnaire might include questions such as:
- Have you been exposed to anyone who has been positively diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Are you displaying symptoms yourself, such as a fever or dry cough?
- Have you yourself been diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Have you traveled within the last 30 days to any country or urban center considered high-risk by the CDC?
- Have the person complete the questionnaire and submit their responses to your staff prior to their visit. Based on your policies, your staff will decide whether to include the pre-screened visitor on an approved visitor list.
- Reduce or prevent potential “contamination by touch” from your visitors during the check-in process with a self-serve kiosk that includes a touchless ID scanning feature and visitor-facing camera or by having your front desk staff use a desktop ID scanner and USB webcam turned towards the visitor.
- If a visitor arrives who has not been pre-screened, your staff can screen the entrant with your list of COVID-19 questions, and if the person is determined to be an unlikely COVID-19 exposure risk, they can be added to your approved visitor list. These procedures can also be used to augment your workforce management systems for employees and contractors to ensure they are screened for COVID-19 exposure and approved for entry each day they report to work.
- If potential entrants are not cleared, designated security personnel as well as the visitor’s host should be automatically notified, and security personnel can escort the person safely from the facility.
- Issue approved visitors a badge with their name, photograph, reason for visit, host’s name, permitted location, entry date and time, company or affiliation, and a custom statement indicating that the visitor has been screened for COVID-19. Print the badge and place in a location where the person entering the facility can pick it up while maintaining social distancing. Temporary badges can also be printed for your employees and contractors to show that they have been screened that day for COVID-19 exposure.
LobbyGuard instantly records specific details of each entrant to your facility. With COVID-19, this data capability will allow you to facilitate contact tracing quickly and easily. These detailed records, including contact information, dates, check-in and check-out times, for every visitor–and that of employees and contractors if you choose to screen them through the visitor management system–will enable you to inform individuals of their possible exposure and provide to local health authorities as applicable.
Additional Considerations Regarding Entry Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Mitigate live virus exposure. It is important to keep check-in devices disinfected. Use alcohol-based disinfectant wipes on all device surfaces except touchscreens, which should be cleaned using cleaning wipes that are specifically intended for use on LCD and touchscreen surfaces. Keep hand sanitizer available at the reception desk and next to self-service kiosks.
- Maintain social distancing. Develop specific policies for maintaining a minimum six-foot distance during check-in. Consider creating signage for use throughout the facility.
- Clearly communicate procedure changes, modifications, and expectations to all employees, contractors, and visitors. Allow time to answer any questions or address any concerns.
- Maintain regulatory compliance. Do not allow operational accommodations for COVID-19 to compromise or interfere with continuation of the specific regulatory compliance standards your facility is required to meet.
Lobbyguard Visitor Management solutions help your facility with:
- Full knowledge of precisely who is entering your premises — protect property and products, safeguard employees and visitors, and guard against COVID-19 exposure.
- Controlled facility access —pre-screen and create approved entry lists in the system.
- Assisted and unassisted entry options —accommodate your specific entry configuration and requirements with either receptionist-assisted or self-serve unassisted screening, check-in, and entry.
- Sustained employee confidence and reduced anxiety – reassure employees that everyone has been screened, approved for entry, and cleared for COVID-19 exposure each day with customizable badging.
- Facilitated contact tracing — monitor all entrants with secure system recordkeeping and reporting functions; instantly accessible data including names, contact information, and check-in and check-out times speed COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.
- Maintained regulatory compliance — make visitor data gathering, retention, and access easy to meet FSMA, ITAR, C-TPAT, AS9100, PCI DSS, and GDPR compliance. Ensure a comprehensive audit trail with all visitor data securely retained.
- Enterprise-class scalability – ensure maximum scalability with Microsoft-based systems and cloud security.
For a more detailed overview of the role of an automated visitor management system when reopening and reoccupying the workplace in the age of COVID-19, download our eBook.