The following post summarizes key findings from the article ‘Impact of delays on effectiveness of contact tracing strategies for COVID-19: a modeling study’ published by The Lancet Public Health. The piece is written by Dr. Mirjam E Kretzschmar, Dr. Ganna Rozhnova, Dr. Martin C J Bootsma, Dr. Michiel van Boven, Dr. Janneke H H M van de Wijgert, and Dr. Marc J M Bonten. Read on to explore the importance of a contact tracing solution in the effectiveness of containing the spread of COVID-19.
The article explored the impact of delays in tracing and testing to effective contact tracing. Additionally, it examined and compared the effectiveness of manual contact tracing and mobile app-based contact tracing.
You do not want a delay in COVID-19 testing
It is important to minimize the time between symptom onset and receiving a positive test result in order to prevent further infections. The article asserts that minimizing testing delay is crucial to improving contact tracing effectiveness, assuming immediate isolation following a test result. Our daily screening application will prompt employees to stay at home and see a doctor immediately after they report COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, users can directly report positive test results within the application to notify administrators.
You do not want a delay in contact tracing
Decreasing the amount of time it takes to trace contacts is incredibly important to reducing overall COVID-19 transmission. The article found that shortening this time interval boosted the efficacy of contact tracing. In the study, they assumed the person immediately sought testing and then isolated, if positive. Our contact tracing application allows users to log who they’ve been in contact with. Additionally, through our BioSecurity Portal, administrators can see who a positive case has been in contact with, automatically via Bluetooth tracking and can then notify those who were potentially exposed.
App-Based Contact Tracing vs Manual Contact Tracing
Overall, they found mobile app-based contact tracing to be more effective than conventional contact tracing because of the application’s quick response capabilities. One interesting case they did not study in this piece was a hybrid approach with conventional and app-based contact tracing systems. ReturnSafe’s solution provides you with an app-based solution. However, through our Partnership with TaskUs, you also have access to manual tracing options. With our solution, your administrators have all the tools they need to effectively control and contain the COVID-19 outbreak and keep employees safe.
What factors may negatively impact contact tracing?
The article also identified hindrances to effective contact tracing. Amongst these were a significant number of undiagnosed or asymptomatic cases and untraceable contacts.
How can you reduce the impact of these factors?
App-based screening and contact tracing solutions can increase the number of traceable contacts and diagnosed cases. However, to do this, there must be substantial participation, application acceptance, and sustained usage. What does that mean? Your employees should feel the application is built for their safety to encourage user participation. Our solution is crafted by experts in UX design and app development to optimize the users experience. How do you know if your application is widely accepted? Through our BioSecurity Portal administrators can directly monitor screening compliance.
Our goal is to empower the employees and the organization to stay safe. So we created features that allow users and administrators to maximize the effectiveness of contact tracing. Every measure your organization takes to prevent infection will lower the overall number of cases and contain the outbreak.
So, let’s start now! Book a demo to learn more about how our solution can protect your organization to combat COVID-19.
When looking for a reopening solution for your organization, you need to know how it will meet CDC guidelines for returning to work. The key criterion for such organizations are outlined in the CDC’s ‘Restart Readiness Checklist’. Let’s see how our solution can help you tick those boxes.
CDC Guidelines For Returning To Work
Monitor federal, state, and local public health communications about COVID-19
In order to stay ahead of COVID-19, you need access to up to date federal, state, and local COVID-19 information and guidelines. Our experts are constantly monitoring the situation and we will ensure that you are in compliance with all necessary guidelines.
Ensure workers have access to current information
Keeping your employees informed gives them peace of mind knowing that you are looking out for their best interests. When an administrator receives a COVID-19 update they can notify their employees and/or adjust their workplace policies if needed via our screening and contact tracing app.
Check local public health information and the CDC COVID-19 website daily, or as needed depending on local conditions.
An effective solution is localized and customizable. Our platform’s policy recommendations are informed by local public health guidance.
Reinforce how employees can protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by communicating:
If you have symptoms, notify your supervisor and stay home.
If you are sick, follow CDC recommended steps, and do not return to work until you meet criteria to discontinue home isolation.
An effective solution educates and empowers employees to monitor and protect themselves. Our daily screening app generates customized employee recommendations daily. Users receive reminders to record symptoms in a quick and easy-to-use daily screening survey. After completing the screening process the app generates a recommendation to come to work or stay home based on the policies your organization has in place. Employers can fine-tune sick employees’ recommendations to meet their organization’s preferences and align with CDC guidelines for returning to work in their area.
Plan for conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks (e.g. symptom and/or health screenings) before employees enter the facility.
The CDC guidelines for returning to work recommend that organizations implement a daily screening protocol for employees to follow before they enter the workplace. In-person screenings invite workplace exposure to symptomatic employees. Our digital screening solution eliminates this risk by giving people the ability to screen before they leave their house via our mobile app.
Establish social distancing policies and practices
Utilizing Bluetooth technology, our app has a social distance alarm feature that can buzz to let employees know if they have come within 6 feet of another person for more than 1-minute. This helps users monitor their behavior and ensure they are practicing social distancing throughout the workday.
Develop an action plan for suspected/confirmed cases
In order to effectively combat the pandemic you must have a plan in place to respond to sick employees and/or confirmed COVID-19 cases. This plan must ensure infected employees isolate and potentially exposed employees are contacted. Our BioSecurity Portal allows you to immediately alert exposed employees while maintaining the infected employee’s confidentiality. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 our solution automatically triggers contact tracing based on the bluetooth data collected and the symptom screening information to discover who is potentially at risk for transmission.
OSHA and the CDC have published significant guidance on the importance of preventing and reducing COVID-19 transmission among employees. In order to re-open successfully, appropriate measures must be taken by businesses to limit the chance of a COVID-19 outbreak at their facility. Having a contact tracing application in use amongst your workforce is a great place to start when setting up a return to work plan. A contact tracing application has the power to automatically notify management who an infected person has come into contact with, thereby stopping COVID-19 transmission in its tracks if measures are taken immediately after someone tests positive.
What is a Contact Tracing Application?
A contact tracing application creates a system for collecting information on who is coming into contact with whom throughout the workday. Via Bluetooth tracking, a contact tracing application records when employees spend significant amounts of time in the presence of their coworkers. And if someone tests positive, the app will advise those who came into contact with the infected person to isolate and get tested.
Without a contact tracing solution preparing you for the scenario when someone tests positive, the safety of your employees is in jeopardy. Moreover, without a plan to mitigate a potential outbreak via a contact tracing solution, your business is exposed to unnecessary risk.
Why isn’t manual contact tracing enough?
For many businesses, it is not practical to have someone manually tracking employee behavior and monitoring who comes into contact with whom. Our contact tracing application has the ability to let employees know if they are maintaining 6 feet of social distance via an alert throughout the day, taking it yet another step further in preventing transmission. The application stores data on test results as well as daily health status, and daily interactions to track when symptoms began and which colleagues may be at risk of further transmission–all automatically.
Complies with OSHA, CDC, state and local guidelines and regulations
To maintain a positive and productive work environment, your employees need to feel confident that they are safe coming back to work. Contact tracing apps empower employees to monitor and track their own movements and behavior, putting them at ease that they and their coworkers are only working with healthy people.
To find out how you can implement a contact tracing application at your organization book a demo to learn more about ReturnSafe!
As we all continue to navigate reopening, the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe space for our coworkers, partners and customers is paramount. We rounded up some of our recent articles to help you put a best in class return to work procedure in place.
Why You Need a BioSecurity Program
Opening safely and staying open is everyone’s goal right now. In order to do this in an effective way, businesses need a BioSecurity program. Learn why
How the Betsy Hotel is Addressing COVID-19
Daily employee screening and contact tracing technology is key to their reopening. Find out why they chose ReturnSafe. Read more
COVID-19 Business Insurance Implications
As businesses start returning to work, the question lingers, what will happen to business insurance? COVID-19 is making waves. Find out how
Are you looking for screening and contact tracing tools for your organization? Book a demo with someone on our team to try our tools! Learn how it works.
ReturnSafe is now a Referral Partner on ADP Marketplace to help businesses prevent and rapidly respond to COVID-19 outbreaks to help keep employees safe and maintain business continuity.
ReturnSafe is the leading BioSecurity company offering COVID-19 screening, testing and contact tracing solutions providing HR and Risk Managers with tools to comply with local, state and federal safety guidelines.
As a Referral Partner, ReturnSafe is now available on ADP Marketplace, a digital HR storefront offering ADP® clients a curated set of partners that complement and extend the value of their ADP products.
With ReturnSafe, ADP clients can leverage their existing investments in ADP Payroll and Workforce Management solutions to seamlessly and securely configure their organizational structure in ReturnSafe and maintain an up-to-date view as employees are hired, leave or change departments.
“COVID-19 has established the need for every industry to address Return-to-Work safe protocols. By offering our solution on ADP Marketplace, we made it simple for our mutual clients to setup and configure their org structure within ReturnSafe, eliminating manual employee data maintenance at initial setup and over time. Our joint solution provides employees and HR with the tools to ensure their workplace stays safe and that they can quickly respond to keep it that way,” says Tarun Nimmagadda, CEO of ReturnSafe.
ReturnSafe can help businesses comply with local, state and federal mandates and lower the risk of an outbreak in the workplace.
Be in compliance with COVID-19 regulatory requirements and CDC Guidelines for each location with customizable digital screening and policies and procedures.
Lower risk of infectious disease spread in the workplace by implementing a proactive and scalable program using digital screening, testing and contact tracing to prevent and rapidly respond to outbreaks.
Make daily health screening quick and easy for employees, decreasing the hassle factor and ensuring the organization stays in compliance.
Hassle-Free Employees screening in seconds:
Daily screening reminders make it easy for employees to check-in before reporting to work. Employees record their symptoms in a daily survey and receive a recommendation on whether they should go to work or stay home. The process takes about 5 seconds per day.
At work, social distancing alerts notify employees if they come within 6 feet of a coworker for longer than a minute to provide a gentle reminder.
HR has the tools to reinforce team compliance and rapidly respond.
The ReturnSafe HR Portal allows organizations to set return to work policies and configure the employee daily survey by location to ensure compliance with changing local guidelines and mandates.
HR can monitor which employees are completing the screening, who is coming into the office, who is working from home, and access a log of COVID-19 exposures when contact tracing is necessary. Managers can also get a view of their department status as needed.
ReturnSafe can help keep employees safe and maintain business continuity. Book a demo to see how it works.
Employee daily screening and contact tracing technology key to reopening.
We recently spoke with our customer, Malvin Ortiz-Aponte, the Director of Human Resources at The Betsy Hotel to discuss the role of ReturnSafe contact tracing and screening in maintaining workplace safety and business continuity in the face of COVID-19 mandates.
“I really like the ease of use of the app for our employees, and HR can quickly see across our organization to monitor exposures and hot spots for rapid incident response. Without the automation for screening and contact tracing, we would have to test everyone if someone became positive and risk having to shut down to abide by the Miami Beach Reopening Orders and Emergency Measures.”
Miami Beach Mandates
Miami Beach has specific Reopening Orders and Emergency Measures for restaurants and hotels to open for business. You are allowed to open if you implement employee symptom screening, observe social distancing, wear masks, and have every employee and vendor tested monthly. If someone tests positive, an employee or a vendor, you have to shut down the affected area, or the entire operation, depending upon the location of the exposure and the general vicinity where that person works. In order to reopen, you would need to do a thorough cleaning and then you have the option to remain closed for 10 days or incur the discomfort and expense of testing everybody again.
We wanted a solution that would help us keep our community safe and maintain continuous operation without having to test everyone all the time. We evaluated the options and decided that we needed a software solution for employee screening and contact tracing for rapid response and containment.
Once we decided that we needed daily screening and contact tracing software, I began a Google search to look around at alternatives. I looked at a solution from the local hotel association, but it was too expensive. I continued my search via Google and found ReturnSafe.
Why we chose ReturnSafe screening and contact tracing
The ReturnSafe team was very responsive; I requested a meeting and was able to schedule it immediately. I really liked the ease of use of the app. Employees can check-in and perform their daily symptom survey before reporting to work. Vendors can check in at Security prior to entering the facility. We can set the policies and recommendations to come to work or stay home based upon local, state and federal guidelines. The entire screening process takes about 5 seconds per day for our employees.
It has social distancing and the tracking automation that will allow us to comply with the Miami Beach Mandate. Without it we would have to continue to rely upon employee adherence by good faith. ReturnSafe allows HR to monitor which employees are completing the screening (and who is not), who is coming in or staying home. It will allow us to quickly gain insights across our organization and monitor hot spots and exposures for rapid incident response. And, with ReturnSafe being ADPmarketplace solution partner, the decision was an easy one.
I really like the background of the company, it started from a nonprofit and is now a Public Benefit B Corp. They started the company not for profit but to help people. That was very attractive to me. But, to be honest, I liked that we could get digital screening, contact tracing and testing all from one organization, and the pricing was also a big motivator for buying ReturnSafe.
Screening Process without ReturnSafe
Without ReturnSafe, employees have to check-in at the security office and get their temperature taken and answer a few health screening questions and are then told to stay at work or return home. For managers to know who is coming to work and who isn’t, they had to go down to the security office or call them to get the information.
With the app, employees can do the health screening from home and receive their work status recommendation immediately and managers can see the status of their team from their desks. With the automation, we don’t have to staff a person at the security desk, we free up managers’ time and employees know their status prior to commuting to work.
Without these precautionary steps and without the automated contact tracing we would have to test everyone if someone became positive or risk having to shut down to abide by Miami Beach Mandates for Operation.