Containing community COVID-19 transmission appears to be an increasingly challenging prospect, and those in charge of facilities are looking for ways to minimize the health risks to employees and clients while limiting the workplace’s role in the spread of this persistent, virulent threat.
Here at NCS, we have already started implementing audio-visual solutions for the era of the touchless workplace. Organizations need to take a closer look at the role access control can play, which is preventing their buildings from becoming sources of infection.
Why is Touchless Access Control So Vital in the Battle Against COVID-19?
In typical circumstances, access control systems are implemented to help keep unwanted individuals from entering a premises – or a specific room within a building – without the necessary authorization. However, when implemented correctly, they are also an effective weapon against keeping the so-called “invisible enemy” out.
Firstly, with internal access control, you can control the flow of personnel throughout your building. Until we have a viable treatment or vaccine, one of the keys of a successful return to the workplace is social distancing measures, such as one-way systems, in place throughout the building.
Whether it’s a student dorm or a corporate office setting, those overseeing the return to work will need to use an access control system to facilitate essential measures, such as one-way hallways and corridors, to eliminate any unnecessary human-to-human interaction.
Remember, an outbreak of the virus within a workplace or campus setting could shut down all operations for an extended period of time to allow for deep cleaning, sterilization processes, and subsequent self-isolations. For many companies already struggling with the economic shockwaves of lockdown, this will be a blow that could have catastrophic effects.
The LenelS2 BlueDiamond™ Ecosystem
Access control systems have long been governed by antiquated keypad-operated equipment. But shared touch-point environments represent a real threat to the biosecurity of a building or campus during the pandemic.
Peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that the virus can stay alive on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for two to three days. Therefore, it makes sense to implement systems that better protect the health integrity of your site, namely, contactless systems that rely on more advanced technology.
The LenelS2 BlueDiamond™ ecosystem does just that by leveraging Bluetooth connectivity to transform a smartphone into an access control credential. Using mobile phones solves the problem of using shared keypads while detecting and granting access from a greater distance than traditional access smartcard technologies (up to 30 feet), facilitating social distancing.
They utilize low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 to facilitate the authorization process, and all users need to do is download the associated app to gain access. These mobile readers also support wearable technology, such as an Apple Watch®, providing another alternative touchless entry method.
Although compatible with smartcards, these readers also address the issues surrounding the use of this particular solution. While keycards are the usual access control mechanism in practice, they are often shared between personnel to gain access to specific buildings or rooms.
For instance, students gaining entry to dorms on college campuses often share their keycards. However, by granting access through a smartphone, the need for individuals to share touchpoints (e.g., on the surface of a plastic key card) is eradicated, dramatically increasing the on-site safety of your facility.
Increase the Biosecurity of Your Buildings with Lenel BlueDiamond™ Mobile Readers
At NCS, we’ve been helping organizations across various industries safely return to the workplace or classroom. One of the most vital aspects of eradicating the virus is eliminating opportunities for it to spread within a community.
Given that corporate and educational settings have enormous potential to spread the virus if left unchanged, investing in protecting your on-site environment’s biosecurity and health integrity is extremely important. Access control can act as the first line of defense by eliminating one of the most common shared touchpoints, both upon entry and for subsequent sensitive internal locations.
If you would like to better protect your working or educational environment from the outset, let NCS guide you through the best options to obtaining a COVID-19-secure environment for your employees, customers, or students.