|  3 min read

How to use Traction Guest Visitor and Employee Management System for Effective Contact Tracing

How to use Traction Guest Visitor and Employee Management System for Effective Contact Tracing Photo

Contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease and who they may have been in contact with to interrupt disease transmission. In the case of COVID-19, infected individuals are told to self-isolate and people who may have been exposed to the virus are asked to quarantine at home voluntarily. Many public health experts say this is crucial for allowing communities and businesses to safely reopen. 

As Dr. Crystal Watson, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, explains, “We have this tool—contact tracing—and if we spend some effort and funding on actually building up our capacities, we can control transmission, get back to work much more safely and avoid unnecessary loss of thousands of lives.”

Here’s the challenge: according to a recent survey of contact tracing efforts by state health departments in the U.S., many places are reopening before fully establishing the tracing systems that public health leaders called for months ago. Due to the speed and numbers of COVID-19 cases, manual contact tracing will not be sufficient. 

At the same time, many business and security leaders struggle with the privacy implications of contact tracing. They are also hesitant to invest in technology that is perceived as having only a near-term use (i.e., only during the pandemic). Is it possible for your business to deploy a contact tracing system that is both cost-effective and effective at protecting the health and privacy of employees and visitors?

Your organization may already have the tools needed for contact tracing. Here are the three elements of the contact tracing process: 

  1. Tracking – Tracking of any individual onsite – including employees, contractors, vendors, or visitors – means having a time-stamped record of anyone accessing your facility at any given time. Systems like access control, video surveillance, or employee and visitor management, such as Traction Guest, can keep an auditable record of anyone entering or exiting a facility. In order to implement contact tracing, the system must be able to filter and export onsite data for specific dates and times. 
  2. Identification –  If there was possible exposure to the virus, all instances of the affected individual onsite need to be identified along with others who were present at that location. Sign-in and onsite records need to be searchable and provide the location, the time, and confirmation of the individual’s presence. Access control systems also need to provide search results based on the fob or access card numbers. Once time frames are identified, contact tracing reports are built to notify any individuals who had been onsite in that location during those time periods. The company has a duty to provide notification of potential exposure.
  3. Communication – Sign-in data needs to include contact information to easily notify anyone who could be affected by phone, email, or text. Visit data from your VMS system can go beyond streamlining facility operations to support contact tracing, enabling at-risk individuals to be notified and take immediate action to reduce further spread. Knowledge of who was onsite at any given time, with the ability to track all onsite visits and screen for previous travel, minimizes risk and helps keep people safe in the workplace.

How to use Traction Guest for Effective Contact Tracing

Traction Guest’s ZeroTouch dynamic portal has capabilities tailored specifically for vetting of COVID-19 symptoms. You can invite people onsite, run pre-screening protocols, and allow or deny access depending on how their answers meet your location’s specific requirements. 

Unlike other approaches to contact tracing, which trace contacts based solely on people invited to attend during a given period of time, the Traction Guest system can report on every individual who signed in and out of a location. The data can be filtered or exported by recording employee and visitor sign-ins via Traction Guest or by integrating Traction Guest into an existing access control or video surveillance system. 

The Guestbook is an immutable record of who has signed in at an office. It includes date and time-stamps for each visit and tells you whether an employee or visitor signed out as well, with a time window of when they were onsite. This data can be used to not only trace COVID-19 infection cases, but also a host of other security and safety concerns that companies have. 

For example, if you are notified that someone who was in the office from 11:00am until 3:00pm last Tuesday tested positive for COVID-19, you can take these simple steps as a Traction Guest admin: 

  • Go to your Traction Guest Guestbook and filter the results for that day, which will provide information about who else may have been onsite.
  • Use the Guestbook search functionality to see what time the infected individual was in the office. 
  • Export the Guestbook data as a CSV file and view/filter/sort the information to quickly notify other individuals of the situation.